So the sonny boy gets his food wishes honoured by his dad once in a while. Once in a while would be an understatement as he gets his way around almost everyday. Most times I insist that he eats what is cooked but on some occasions we oblige him by preparing things that he relishes eating. When it comes to replicating fast food at home I am satisfied that what we make at home is any day better than the junk dished out by most fast food joints. The best part about living in the internet age is that recipes of foods from around the world are available at our fingertips. The onion rings have been one of our lil boy's favourite snacks and the husband has tried replicating them several times using different recipes but none of them were 100% satisfactory - in terms of their taste and crispness or rather the ability to stay crisp much after they came out of the deep fryer.
We used to enjoy some crisp onion rings at TGIF, Mumbai and always wondered how they stayed so crisp for a long time.
A couple of months ago Roshan was gallivanting on youtube checking out food videos and he chanced upon this great video on foodwishes.com that showed precisely how you can make ultra crisp onion rings at home. He immediately ran down to the supermarket to buy some instant mashed potato powder as it was the only ingredient we didn't stock at home. For those of you in India, don't fret, you will be able to find the mashed potato powder in most well stocked supermarkets. Also, Panko breadcrumbs are our favourite brand as the result they give is always great - I do hope you find them as I believe they go out of stock often. I searched for them high & low here in Dubai but none of the supermarkets stocked it. When I was lucky to find some at Spinney's it had an additional flavouring - Tempura, so I didn't buy. If you ever find plain Panko crumbs just buy them! Now we generally buy them from Mumbai and stock up 2-3 packets per year.
These onion rings were so so crispy that we could actually hear them crackle when we munched them. Thanks to that, the photo shoot didn't last very long. I must have eaten half of them during those 10 minutes and I have plenty of shots where tiny fingers are trying to steal them off this plate! Do try these crispy munchies. They are so perfect for a party. Go ahead, make 'em!
Crispy Onion Rings
Prep time: 20 mins | Frying time: 15mins | Servings 3-4
For the coating:
- 2-3 large white or yellow onions * see notes
- oil for deep frying
- salt to taste (fine tablesalt to sprinkle)
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour (maida)
- 1/4 cup cornstarch (cornflour)
- 2 tablespoons instant mashed potato powder * see notes
- 1 cup of cold club soda
- a pinch of cayenne or regular red chilli powder
- 2-3 cups Panko breadcrumbs, or as required * see notes
1. Peel the onions and cut them into slices about 1/4 of an inch (not too thick or they won't cook). Separate the rings and keep aside. Place the Panko crumbs on a shallow plate.
2. Heat oil (on a medium high - not full flame) in a deep frying pan and keep it ready.
3. In a large bowl add all the dry ingredients - maida, cornflour, mashed potato powder & cayenne/chilli powder and whisk them all together.
4. Add the club soda and continue to whisk the batter. It may seem a little runny at first but the mashed potato powder will help thicken it up quickly.
5. Add a few onion rings into the prepared batter and flip them over using a fork until they are well coated.
6. Next, coat the rings with the Panko crumbs using a separate fork (to avoid a sticky mess in the crumbs!)
7. Gently slip the onion rings, a few at a time (do not overcrowd the pan) into the hot oil and let it fry on both sides till the colour turns into a golden brown.
8. Use a slotted spoon or fork to remove them onto an absorbent kitchen tissue. They will turn really crisp and hard upon cooling.
9. Sprinkle lightly with salt before serving. Enjoy!
1. If you can't find white or yellow onions you can substitute them with very large red/pink onions that we commonly find in India.
2. Instant mashed potato powder is available at well stocked supermarkets across India. When in Mumbai I had purchased it (a brand called Vegit, Aloo Mash) from Star Bazar. It is usually found in the aisle that stocks up instant foods such as idlis, gulab jamoons etc.
3. Panko breadcrumbs are a Japanese brand of breadcrumbs that turns a beautiful golden when fried. It is available at gourmet stores such as Godrej Nature's Basket in Mumbai. In Dubai you can find Panko at Spinney's