- Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/gas 6. Line a couple of baking sheets with baking parchment and spray 10–12 evenly spaced spots with oil.
- Sift the gram and rice flours into a mixing bowl. Add the turmeric, carom seeds, ground coriander and chilli powder.
- Add 6 tablespoons of cold water and mix well, turning the spiced flours into a thick paste and squashing any lumps that may form.
- Add the onions to the batter and stir them through for a couple of minutes to completely coat them with the batter. They will soften slightly, too, as they release moisture when stirred.
- Using a couple of tablespoons, load even amounts of batter-covered onions onto the spots of oil on the baking sheets. Bring any stray bits of onion close to the mound so you don’t get too many burnt edges.
- When the onions are all used up, spray each mound with more oil and place in the oven for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, flip the pakoras over and cook for another 10 minutes. Allow to rest for 5 minutes before you tuck in.
- Make sure the onions are very finely sliced to ensure they come out of the oven well-cooked through.
Extract from Masala by Mallika Basu, Photographs © Issy Croker