Kid-friendly Spiced Onion Pakora Bites Recipe - Sticky Fingers Cooking
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Recipe: Spiced Onion Pakora Bites

Recipe: Spiced Onion Pakora Bites

Spiced Onion Pakora Bites

by Dylan Sabuco
Photo by mirzamlk/Shutterstock.com
prep time
10 minutes
cook time
15 minutes
makes
4-6 servings

Fun Food Story

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Spiced Onion Pakora Bites

Nearly every region of India boasts its own version of the pakora, a delicious, crispy morsel of practically anything, but typically some sort of vegetable, fish, meat or cheese. The word pakora comes from a Sanskrit word that basically means “a small, cooked lump.” Don’t let the name fool you – they are completely delicious!

Happy & Healthy Cooking,

Chef Erin, Food-Geek-in-Chief

Fun-Da-Mentals Kitchen Skills

  • knife skills :

    Bear Claw (growl), Pinch, Plank, and Bridge (look out for trolls)

  • measure :

    to calculate the specific amount of an ingredient required using a measuring tool (like measuring cups or spoons).

  • pan-fry :

    to fry in a pan in a small amount of fat.

  • slice :

    to cut into thin pieces using a sawing motion with your knife.

Equipment Checklist

  • Medium mixing bowl
  • Cutting board + kid-safe knife
  • Dry measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • Heat-resistant spatula or wooden spoon
  • Small pot
  • Liquid measuring cup
  • Large spoon (for scooping batter)
scale
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Ingredients

Spiced Onion Pakora Bites

  • 1 yellow onion, sliced
  • 1 egg **(for EGG ALLERGY sub flaxseed + warm water—more info below)**
  • 1/4 C all-purpose flour **(for GLUTEN ALLERGY sub gluten-free flour)**
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 C cornstarch
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 C vegetable oil, for frying

Food Allergen Substitutions

Spiced Onion Pakora Bites

  • Egg: For 1 egg in Pakora Bites, substitute 1 T flax seed + 3 T warm water. Soak flaxseeds in warm water for 5 minutes or until fully absorbed and thickened.
  • Gluten/Wheat: Substitute gluten-free flour for flour in Pakora Bites.

Instructions

Spiced Onion Pakora Bites

1.
slice + crack

Slice 1 yellow onion into strips and toss into a bowl. Crack **1 egg into the bowl.

2.
measure + mix

Measure and add to the bowl 1/4 cup flour, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/4 cup cornstarch, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon chili powder. Mix until the ingredients are well combined and a loose batter forms around the onions.

3.
heat + drip

Heat 1/2 cup of vegetable oil in a small pot over medium high heat. Drip a bit of the batter in the oil, when it starts to bubble the oil is hot enough to fry the pakoras in.

4.
scoop + fry + flip + serve

Using a tablespoon, scoop spoonfuls of batter (make sure to get at least 2 to 3 strips of onion in each scoop) into the hot oil. The pakora batter will cook very quickly. Flip the pakoras after about 3 minutes on each side. Serve when golden brown and crispy.

Surprise Ingredient: Onions!

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Photo by BearFotos/Shutterstock.com

Hi! I'm Onion!

"Did you know that onions are vegetables? My close relatives are chive, garlic, and leek, and I'm a distant cousin of the amaryllis and daffodil. I'm actually the edible bulb of the onion plant!  

History & Etymology

  • The onion is thought to be native to Asia, but there are also ancient remnants from Iran, India, and Egypt.
  • The Egyptians even worshiped onions! They believed their circular shape and layers symbolized eternal life, and often onions were placed in ancient tombs to bring prosperity to mummies in the afterlife.
  • Ancient Greek and Roman athletes used to eat onions to get strong, and they even rubbed onions on their bodies before competing in events like the Olympics.
  • In medieval times, people used onions as a form of currency! Imagine paying bills with a bag of onions!
  • Native Americans in Eastern Canada and the Eastern United States ate a species of wild onion, also called ramps or wild leek. 
  • China is the largest producer of onions. In the US, California grows the most onions.
  • Some people around the world say, possibly as early as 3,000 years ago in China, that onions can predict the weather. 
  • There is even a saying about onions and the weather that goes like this: "Onion's skin very thin, mild winter coming in; onion's skin thick and tough, coming winter cold and rough."
  • The word "onion" comes from Middle English from the Old French "oignon," based on the Latin "unionem," literally "union," indicating the unity of the layers of the onion. 

Anatomy

  • Onions are part of the "Allium cepa" genus. "Cepa" is Latin for "onion." The common onion plant grows from 6 to 18 inches tall. 
  • They have hollow green leaves that grow upward and fan out of a covered stem from the top of the bulb. Roots extend out of the basal plate at the bottom of the bulb into the soil.
  • The onion bulb is described as having a "globe" shape. It is made up of fleshy leaves that grow around the flower bud in the middle. These fleshy leaves are covered by scaly leaves, the onion's "skin," that dry out and become papery when it is time for the onion to be harvested.

How to Pick, Buy, & Eat

  • There are lots of onion varieties! Green onions (also called scallions or spring onions) are mild in flavor, and both the bulbs and top leaves can be eaten. They are often found in salads and stir-fry dishes. They have a small, not fully developed white bulb end with long green stalks. The white shaft of the plant extends from the roots to the leaves.  
  • Yellow onions can be pungent or sweet. The Spanish onion is a common pungent variety typically found in grocery stores. The Vidalia is a sweet onion from the state of Georgia, and the Walla Walla is a sweet onion from the state of Washington. 
  • White onions have a sharp flavor and are often used in Mexican cooking. Red onions are sweeter than yellow and white onions and are used raw in salads and on burgers. 
  • The shallot is a smaller variety with a milder pungent flavor often used in sautéed dishes, sauces, and stocks. Pearl onions are tiny bulbs that are mild in flavor and great for pickling.
  • Store whole raw onions in a cool, dark location. Cut onions will keep in the refrigerator for about a week. Store them in an airtight container that will not absorb their smell (i.e., glass rather than plastic).
  • Onions can cause eye irritation and tears when you cut into them. This is because a chemical compound called syn-propanethial-S-oxide is released into the air when you slice an onion, and tears are produced to wash it away. 
  • Chilling onions in the refrigerator or a bowl of ice water before cutting them can decrease the amount of irritation. Other suggestions include using a sharp knife, holding a piece of bread in your mouth while you slice, or wearing goggles. 

Nutrition

  • Onions have a high water content, about 89 percent, and are low in calories. They contain low amounts of protein, fiber, and essential nutrients.

Let's Learn About India!

Photo by Charu Chaturvedi on Unsplash
  • India is a country in South Asia and is officially called the Republic of India. It is the second-most populous country in the world and has the largest population of any democratic nation. 
  • Hindi and English are official languages, and there are 447 native languages spoken in India.
  • India's government includes a president, prime minister, and parliament. Twenty-eight states and eight union territories make up India's federal union. 
  • India's currency is the Indian "rupee." It is illegal for foreigners to take rupees out of India.
  • Emperor Shah Jahan commissioned the Taj Mahal's construction in 1632 for his wife, Mumtaz Mahal.
  • The anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi's birthday is celebrated on October 2. He is considered India's "Father of the Nation" and led the Indian people to independence from 89 years of British rule in 1947. Gandhi's peaceful protest movement inspired many people in other countries.
  • India's national symbols are the lotus flower, the Bengal tiger, and the peacock.
  • Some of the world's highest mountains are in India, including Kanchenjunga, the third tallest at 28,169 feet. 
  • The Bay of Bengal is a huge bay bordering the southeastern part of India and is home to the world's largest mangrove forest. Here, tigers swim in the same waters as dolphins, sea turtles, sharks, and saltwater crocodiles. 
  • The snow leopard, the Indian rhinoceros, the Bengal tiger, and the Asian elephant are all animals of India. Globally, it is the only country that has both lions and tigers.
  • The most popular sport in India is cricket!
  • It is hot in India, so people there often wear loose clothes. Traditional clothing differs by area in India. Women may wear saris, long pieces of colorful cotton or silk draped over and around the body like a dress. Men may wear a dhoti, made of material wrapped around the hips and pulled through the legs, somewhat resembling loose pants, although they aren't seen in cities much anymore. Photos of Gandhi show him wearing dhotis.
  • Seventy percent of the world's spices come from India.
  • Staple foods in India include lentils, rice, bread, and spices. People living on the coast eat more fish and seafood. In other regions, they eat chicken, beef, and game meats. Many people throughout India are vegetarians. Common fruits and vegetables are mangoes, apples, oranges, pineapples, bananas, onions, okra, potatoes, spinach, and carrots.  
  • Curries are popular dishes in India and are made with a variety of vegetables, fish, meat, and fruits, and spices. 
  • When people greet each other in India, as a sign of respect, they bow, placing their hands together before their chest or face, and say "Namaste," which translates to "I bow to the divine in you."

What's It Like to Be a Kid in India?

  • Indian parents are encouraged to start their kids in preschool at 2½ to 3 years old. School is usually taught in a particular state's language, which could be Hindi, English, or another language. 
  • Kids often have their grandparents living with them in the family household.
  • Along with cricket, tennis, badminton, and chess, kids may play traditional Indian games like kabaddi or kho-kho, both played by teams, or kancha, a marble game played individually or with others.
  • Kids enjoy the Holi festival, which is a religious celebration that also heralds the arrival of spring. Celebrated in various ways throughout the country, most versions include the joyous spraying and throwing of colorful powders by festival participants at one another. 

Lettuce Joke Around

What do you call an onion that won’t hold water?

A leek!

THYME for a Laugh

I’m allergic to green onions.

Every time I eat them, I break out in chives!

THYME for a Laugh

What did the boy do when he saw an onion ring?

He answered it!

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