• Payal Maharaj

New Recipe! Indian-style Onion Rings!

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Perceptions are interesting, aren't they? Some of my more recent experiences drive that point home. We run around every day interacting with people. How we interact with them is based on what we perceive about them. Most people don’t even stop to think whether their perceptions are correct or not. They keep on with their incorrect perceptions and treat people accordingly. Very few people actually stop to look beyond what they see. Why is that? I believe because it takes effort to be self-aware. It takes effort to be aware of your own biases and to recognize your own issues. It takes time and effort to do that. If you don't even have time to recognize yourself, how will you recognize others? Now more than ever, it is crucial to recognize your inner self and others. It is crucial to recognize your biases, your negativity, your projections and your ideas. We have seen so much hate surface in the past few years. Hate that made us point fingers at others. Hate that was unnecessary. It was unnecessary because underneath it all, we are the same human. We all have the same basic needs. We suffer in the same way. We all want the same basic things for ourselves. We are not as different as people have made us believe. We may have different skin tones, different accents, different foods, different cultures and so many other differences. But beyond that, we have the capacity to be kind, non-judgmental, nurturing, caring, curious and to be just human. We need to do more that. Just be human. Today's recipe is inspired by these thoughts. Much like what I have written above, these onion rings may look a certain way but are so much more than that. You may look and think, oh just another recipe for onion rings, and scroll right by. But trust me, once you try these onion rings, you will not want to go back to regular onion rings. This is not a recipe I grew up with in Fiji. Rather, it is a fusion recipe that I created. An Indian version of American onion rings. Sort of a metaphor for my life here. Lol. The recipe itself is very straightforward. You will need a large onion or so, pea flour, aromatics and some seasonings. We get our onions from Costco so I am sure you can imagine how large they are. Pea flour is something you can purchase from the Indian store or even buy online. The rest of the steps are easy. First make the batter. Batter should be thick enough to coat onion rings but still flowy. Then slice and dredge onions rings in some basic white flour. Then dip rings in batter.

Make sure they are evenly coated, then fry away. One thing I realized pretty quickly as I was making these, is that the batter will drip into the oil and splatter back. So try to use tongs when dropping these into the hot oil. Fry until golden brown and crispy. I like to drain on paper towels before serving. You can also sprinkle on some sea salt in the end for extra flavoring.

And that's it! You now have yourself Indian-style Onion Rings! Serve as is or with chutneys! The best part is that they remain crispy for quite some time and leftovers can be enjoyed the next day too. That's if you have any leftovers!


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RECIPE: Serves 8 Prep time: 20 minutes Cook time: 20-30 minutes Ingredients: -1.5 large onion sliced into rings -flour for dredging -1 cup besan (yellow split pea flour) -1 cup cold water -1 tbsp crushed garlic -1 tbsp crushed ginger -1/4 tsp turmeric -1/2 tsp garam masala -1 tsp baking powder -1/4 tsp smoked paprika (optional) -salt to taste (heavier than usual) -handful of finely chopped cilantro -oil for deep frying -sea salt (optional) Method:

  1. Peel and slice one large onion into rings about 1/2inch thick.

  2. Coat with dry flour.

  3. Mix rest of the ingredients including cilantro. Batter should be thick but flowy. Can splash in a bit more water at this point to adjust for consistency. Let batter sit for five minutes.

  4. Test one onion ring in the batter. Batter should stick to the onion ring and cover completely.

  5. Add rest of the onion rings and coat well.

  6. Heat up oil. Add drops of batter to the oil. If they sink halfway and come up, oil is ready.

  7. Fry onion rings until golden brown and crispy. Remove from heat and drain on paper towels.

  8. Garnish with more chopped cilantro and some sea salt if using.

  9. Serve immediately as is or with chutneys.

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