What’s easier than indulging in some drive-thru fastfood? More satisfying? And way tastier? Making a batch of onion fritters. Bengalis called them pyanji and love to eat them on a rainy afternoon, or a cold winter evening, or just about anytime they feel like. And given that they are made with just two things, onions and chickpea flour, way healthier than mystery fast food or processed food out of a packet.
All you need is a bag of chickpea flour. The internet should be able to help, even if you live in the middle of nowhere. In India it’s called besan, so that’s what you will see written on the bags imported from India, or sold to a predominantly Indian clientele. You could, in a pinch, make these with regular flour. But deep-fried chickpea flour is very, very tasty. Trust me and the millions of Indians out there.
Making these fritters is so so easy, you don’t need a recipe.
Step 1. Chop up as many onions as you like. You can add some chopped chillies if you like things spicy.
Step 2. Put in a bowl and sprinkle in a few spoons of besan. Add a generous amount of salt and a tiny pinch of baking powder.
Step 3. Mix well with a splash of water. You need to add just enough chickpea flour and water until a lump of chopped onion will hold its shape when you put it on a plate.
Step 4. Heat oil for deep-frying.
Step 5. When oil is good and hot (a drop of batter in the oil will sizzle immediately) add spoonfuls of the batter mix and fry until golden brown.
Step 6. Drain on kitchen paper and enjoy.
Step 7. Can be made ahead if you have an oven. Just heat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Lay out the fritters on a tray and heat in the oven for 15-20 minutes. Crispy as new!
Make some this weekend and celebrate the miracle that is life. Goes well with tea, coffee, coke or beer. The other day, I served them with lentils and rice. Makes a delicious meal.