Onion (ulli) Vada

This is a well known evening snack in our hometown. On the grey days during the rainy season, having this snack, with a cup of tea, is a wonderful way to brighten up your day. Most of the tea shops in our hometown carry this snack. In the evenings, people gather at the small tea shops, just to eat this snack with tea and talk about the day’s news. This is, thankfully, a very simple snack to make at home. I ended up making this often during the stay at home, because it is one of my daughter’s favorite snack, so she often comes to me and ask to make this.


  • Red onion ————————————– 2 (big size)
  • chickpea flour (besan) —————— 1 cup
  • All purpose flour —————————- 1/2 cup
  • Rice flour —————————————–1/4 cup
  • Ginger ———————————————- a small piece
  • Chili powder (cayenne pepper) —— 1 tsp
  • Coriander seeds —————————— 1 tsp
  • Cumin seeds ————————————- 1/2 tsp
  • Carom seeds ———————————— 1/4 tsp
  • Water ———————————————— about a cup
  • Salt to taste
  • Enough oil to fry

How To Make

  • Cut the onion into thin slices and squeeze it with your hand for few times
  • Smash the ginger piece using mortar and pestle
  • Crush the coriander seeds, cumin seeds and carom seeds (omam) using mortar and pestle
  • In a big bowl add all the ingredients except the oil
  • Add water little by little and mix until they bind together
  • Heat the oil in a frying pan (you can test the readiness of the oil by adding a little bit of the batter to it. It should fizzle and float to the top.)
  • When it’s ready, turn it down to a medium heat
  • Now take a big lemon size mixture and slightly flatten it with your fingers and gently put it in the oil
  • Fry until it turns light brown, in between you might flip it for even cooking on both the sides (you can add 3 or 4 at a time, depending on the size of the pan and amount of oil in it)
  • It will be ready in around 4 minutes
  • Take it out and keep it on a paper towel, so that the excess oil will be absorbed
  • Serve with your choice of sauce

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