The crispiest telebhaja or pakora among all Kolkata street foods.
While the entire week our daily grind keeps us busy, weekends always come as a treat. So, this weekend treat yourself with a Bengali deep fried treat called ‘ Peyaji’ which is not just easy to make but also delectable in taste. Peyaji are batter-coated deep-fried onion fritters made with thinly sliced onion that has been seasoned with earthy spices and folded in telebhaja or pakora batter and deep fried until crispy. In Kolkata it will always be a known lovingly feeling, packed into a newspaper Thonga (paper packet), loads of Muri ( puffed rice).
Even within India there are lots of variations of onion fitters. They all follow a similar set of ingredients, but the beauty lies in the small deviations. In northern regions onion is sliced in slightly thicker size and dipped in thick besan batter and seasoned with carom seeds & chaat masala. In eastern side the pakora batter is made of besan, maida and seasoned with turmeric, red chilli powder, and a few other earthy spices that makes it extremely delicious.
These deep-fried onion fritters with a crunchy, savoury-sweet flavour profile and a green chilli kick are makes perfect snack for rainy evenings. So prepare some Peyaji when the clouds roar next time with this simple recipe. It is simple, fast, and tasty to make with only ingredients available in pantry.
1. 4 tablespoons of all-purpose flour, maida
2. 2 tablespoons rice flour
3. 2 tablespoons Bengal gram flour, besan
4. 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder
5. 1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder
6. 1/2 teaspoon roasted cumin powder
7. 1/4 teaspoon of salt
8. 1/2 cup Water
9. Oil for deep-frying
10. 2 large onions, thinly sliced
11. 2 green chilies, finely chopped
12. 1 tablespoon of freshly pounded mango ginger
13. 2 tablespoons mustard oil
1. Mix all the dry ingredients in a large bowl, then add water gradually little by little and keep whisking (Don’t add entire water together; this will make a large lump)
2. Add little water, whisk to mix it thoroughly and then add again and so on ,this will ensure lump free smooth matter
3. Now add 2 tbsp of hot oil into the batter and whisk quickly, this hot oil will make the batter silky and fries crispy
4. Add ginger or mango ginger (whichever you are using) and green chilli to the batter and mix well
5. Finally add thinly sliced onion to the batter and toss well so that each onion slice gets coated with the batter
6. Now, take a deep bottomed pan which is suitable for deep frying and heat oil on medium flame
7. Then take 1 tbsp batter at a time and slide in hot oil carefully (Don’t just drop the batter coated patty in hot oil, slowly slide it in, this way there will be no oil spluttering)
8. Keep the flame on medium and cook Peyaji for 3-5 mins, then flip the patty gently on other side and cook for another 3-4 mins on medium flame
9. Remove from oil with slotted spoon and serve immediately with ketchup and hot tea
10. Peyajis or onion fritters can be made in so many ways. In southern parts of India, they also add curry leaves into the batter. You can add in whatever extra jazz you want to. No matter however you make these fitter, they always taste fabulous.