Spiced Fried Onions

26 Aug

Spiced Fried Onions

Few things compare to the taste and smell of just-fried onions. What’s usually an embellishment to pulao or a minor ingredient in curries plays starring role in this recipe. Spiced fried onions – a mélange of fried onions strips with an aromatic spice mix. Try it!

You could deep fry the onions for a crunchier texture, or you could go for a leisurely low-flame sauté. I went the sauté way.

Spiced Onion Strips

You Need:

  • Onions – 3 large
  • Peanuts – 1/2 cup
  • Sesame seeds – 1 tablespoon
  • Dry red chilies – 3
  • Salt – to taste
  • Nigella seeds – 3/4 teaspoon
  • Oil – 1 tablespoon

How To Make Spiced Fried Onions:

1. Make the masala

Take a thick-bottomed flat pan. Place it on low heat.

Dry roast each of these ingredients one at a time in the pan, and set aside to cool:

  • 1/2 cup of peanuts, stirring occasionally, till the skin takes on a darker hue.
  • a tablespoon of sesame seeds, till they turn golden and give off a lovely aroma.
  • 3 dry red chilies, till they turn a deeper red and fragrant.



When all the ingredients cool, place them in the grinder with salt.

Peanuts, Sesame, Dry Red Chilies

Grind the peanuts, sesame, red chili and salt together.

Tip: Do not grind peanuts and sesame too long, unless you want to end up with homemade peanut butter!

2. Sauté the onions

Red Onions

Peel and slice onions into thin rings of half-moons.

Onions Sliced into Rings

Heat a tablespoon of oil in a non-stick pan. When hot, add nigella seeds and let them splutter for a few seconds. Add the sliced onions.

Sauté the onions on medium flame.

Onions and Nigella Seeds

Cook for 10-15 minutes, or till the onions turn translucent/golden.

Onions Frying

You could continue to cook longer till the onions are more uniformly brown; for me, a slight crunch with the edges turning golden works fine.

3. Put it all together

Tip the ground masala of peanuts, sesame and dry red chilies into the pan of frying onions.

Fried Onions and Spice Powder

Switch off the heat. Mix well so that the masala coats the fried onions evenly.

Spiced Fried Onion

Serve spiced fried onions on the side with chapatis and dal.

Fried Spiced Onions

Old pic:

Spiced Onion Strips


Looking for more recipes starring onions? Try quick tasty onion fry, slender green eggplant with onions, ridge gourd onion chutney.

Enjoyed the peanut-sesame flavor? Check out these dishes too that use this nutty combo: beans with crushed peanuts and sesame, bharwan bhindi, peanut sesame rice.

4 Responses to “Spiced Fried Onions”

  1. Bintu @ Recipes From A Pantry August 31, 2014 at 4:39 PM #

    Thanks for stopping b my blog earlier. I love onions so I am keen on this Would it work with cashews instead of peanuts?

    • S August 31, 2014 at 5:01 PM #

      @Bintu – That’s an idea! I’m sure it would work, but I guess it would taste quite different as cashews are milder and “sweeter” than peanuts. Do try it and let me know how it turned out.

  2. Sandhya August 12, 2017 at 7:11 PM #

    Made this last evening. So very good! Thank you for the recipe.

    • S August 12, 2017 at 7:59 PM #

      Great to hear that Sandhya.

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