spiced onions recipe

Spiced Onions (Indian Takeaway Style)

These spiced onions are ready in 5 minutes and are the perfect combination of spicy and sweet. Served atop a crunchy poppadom, they are the perfect accompaniment to curry night.

Spiced onions (or Spicy Onions) are a pillar of Glaswegian Indian restaurants and takeaways.

Onions are one of my favourite vegetables. So serving them in a spicy sauce on top of some crunchy poppadoms and I’m in a chokehold. The spicy sauce is made from tomato ketchup, mango chutney, mint sauce, chilli powder and salt. I could eat the whole bowl! 

Why Not Try This Hack For Onions:

For reducing the harshness of the onions when eating them raw

To reduce the harshness of the onions, you can soak them in boiling water for 5 minutes, drain them and dry them off before using.

This hack can be utilised for onions used in raw form for any dish e.g. I like to do this when adding onions to salads.

Why You Should Make Spiced Onions

The days where you used to get free spiced onions with your Indian takeaway are long gone. Which is a shame, because I always enjoyed them, even more so knowing they were a freebie. Does that make me a cheapskate?! Spend over £20 and you get free spicy onions or vegetable pakoras. Those were the days!

Now you need to spend an extra few quid to buy this delightful snack as a precursor to your curry and naan. So this quick and easy Indian takeaway recipe to make your own spiced onions at home are the perfect solution! It will save you some pennies too, as once you’ve got some of these store cupboard staples, you can make them again and again.

Especially because this recipe is wholly vegetarian and vegan, so is the perfect appetiser for all!


This portion will serve 4 people as a snack or appetiser. Even better, that includes some potential leftovers to make a cheese and spiced onion toastie for lunch the next day (try it and thank me)!

Why not serve them as a pre-dinner snack before tucking into my Chicken Chasni curry recipe or South Indian Garlic Chilli curry? What’s your favourite curry?


Poppadoms: you can buy pre-made poppadoms, I like these ones from Asda. Or alternatively, you can buy poppadoms that you can pop freshly at home like these ones.

Onions: I use brown onion, but you can use red onion if it’s all you have OR if you prefer a milder flavour. 

Tomato Ketchup

Mango Chutney

Mint Sauce

Chilli Powder: I use kashmiri chilli powder  as it’s most authentic. I picked it up in a local Asian supermarket. But chilli powder from a supermarket is totally fine too. Reduce to ¼ teaspoon if you don’t have a particularly high heat tolerance. 


How To Make Spiced Onions

Mix together tomato ketchup, mango chutney, mint sauce, chilli powder & salt 

Add finely chopped onions and stir through sauce to thoroughly coat them

Serve with poppadoms as part of your homemade Indian fakeaway feast!

Vibrant Red Colour

You’ll sometimes find the Indian takeaway spiced onions bright red. If you want to achieve this aesthetic at home, simply add a touch of red food dye


Where can I buy poppadoms?

I bought them ready-to-eat from Asda

Can I add more spices?

Absolutely – you could jazz this recipe up further with the addition of garam masala, ground cumin, ground coriander etc.

How much of the extra spices should I add?

I would start with a 1/4 teaspoon of each and increase whilst taste testing the batch until the flavour is to your liking.

I don’t have Kashmiri chilli powder, can I use ‘normal’ chilli powder?

Kashmiri chilli powder is simply the authentic chilli powder I like to use. But it is not essential! Normal mild chilli powder will do.


The spiced onions can be made in advance, and stored in the fridge until they are required. 

They will store well in the fridge, in an airtight container, for up to 7 days.

Making the spiced onions in advance (a few hours) will help soften the onions slightly.

And finally…

If you have any questions, or want to tell me what you think of my recipe, then leave a comment below!

If you like this recipe and are looking for more Indian Takeaway recipes, then why not try my Chicken Chasni or my South Indian Garlic Chilli Chicken curry?

spiced onions recipe

Spiced Onions (Indian Takeaway Style)

An essential side or starter to any Indian takeaway (or even added to a cheese toastie)! This super simple spiced onion recipe will have you coming back for more – everytime!
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Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4
Calories 99 kcal


  • 2 brown onions ⁣
  • 7 tbsp tomato ketchup⁣
  • 3 tbsp mango chutney ⁣
  • 2 tbsp mint sauce ⁣
  • ½ tsp kashmiri chilli powder ⁣
  • ¼ tsp salt ⁣


  • Mix together tomato ketchup, mango chutney, mint sauce, chilli powder & salt ⁣
  • Finely chop onions and stir through sauce ⁣
  • Serve with poppadoms or your homemade Indian fakeaway feast!⁣


Calories: 99kcalCarbohydrates: 23gProtein: 1gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0.3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.02gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.02gSodium: 528mgPotassium: 167mgFiber: 1gSugar: 15gVitamin A: 340IUVitamin C: 8mgCalcium: 20mgIron: 0.3mg
Keyword indian starter, spiced onions
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