A Pakistani dish I am learning to make calls for fried onions as an ingredient. The recipe says "golden fried onions" and later "fried onion paste", referring to the same thing. The video shows a clump of yellow brownish fried onion slices dumped into the pot. I don't think it is really a paste, more like clustered fried onions.

I know normally when you make fried onions you use spices and flour. Googling "fried onions" leads me to hundreds of recipes of fried onions as a snack or appetizer. Not what I need. Should I milk-dip and flour-coat them? How do people make fried onions as an ingredient in South Asian/central Asian cuisines? Simply deep fry?

Wikipedia's "fried onion" page has a picture of "Iranian fried onions" which I guess should be close to this ingredient in a Pakistani dish?

  • Is the dish/ingredient actually called "friend onion" or was that a typo?
    – csk
    Commented Nov 13, 2020 at 2:18
  • 1
    I rather liked the idea of a dish called friend onions. Ah well.
    – csk
    Commented Nov 13, 2020 at 2:25
  • @csk Apparently my right index finger too. :P
    – Eddie Kal
    Commented Nov 13, 2020 at 2:36
  • 1
    "Fried onions" are the base to about half the worlds dishes, very much so in 'indian' cooking. Could you provide us with the exact recipe & method - not a video.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Nov 13, 2020 at 11:57

2 Answers 2


You might want to look up recipes for "Bawang Goreng", which are Indonesian fried shallots, which should also work for onions. It's basically just thinly sliced shallots, deep fried until golden, and then drained.

You can buy containers of them at many international grocery stores.

If you're going to make them yourself, I would highly recommend purchasing a mandoline if you don't already have one. This allows you to slice the onions very thinly (needed to make sure they dry out fully before they burn), and a consistent thickness (so they all cook in about the same time, and you don't have part of your batch burning before the rest are done).


First - by your description of "fried onion" as a snack or appetizer and by seeying some videos on instagram I think the problem is in translation.

In polish "fried" onion would refer to one that are coated and deep fried. That look like flowers. Coating is a batter that is similar (or identical) to the one on onion rings.

But from the photo the name would in polish would be "roasted onion". Below is recipe I use (the only difference is I try to cut onion in little cubes while the asian make stripes).

4 onions
3 flat spoon of flour
1 flat teaspoon of salt
Pinch of sugar
Oil - quantity depending in what you will fry it, the idea is that when you add onion there shouldn't be an excess amount of oil.
Cut onion (in stripes or cubes), mix in bowl with two spoons of flour. Leave to rest while in fryin pan you heat the oil (the best would be just above "middle" on your settings). When the oil is heated add third spoon of flour mixed with salt to the onions. Put onions in oil (it should sizzle) and turn the heat to one quarter of your setting (beetwen "off" and "half"). Stirr the whole time until the temp go down. when the oil is "calmed" and slowly bubbling stir every minute. Fry for 20-40 minutes (depending on pan and heat) and until it get that golden brown color. Sif the onion and spread on paper towels to get ride of oil and sprinkle (while it's still warm) with pinch of sugar. Leave to dry.

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