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Baked Onion Rings (Vegan)

Baked Onion Rings
Who doesn't like restaurant style crunchy fries, onion rings?  Of course, they are deep fried and loaded with calories.  These days, baking such addictive appetizers in an oven is a healthy alternative.  
To see it for myself, I tried baking onion rings once.  Since then, it has become a regular side with baked Veggie Burgers at our place.  Trust me, you won't miss the fried ones.

Ingredients:
Yellow (Vidalia) Onion - 1 big
Italian Seasoned Bread Crumbs - about 2 cups
Besan/Chickpea Flour - 1/2 cup
Black Pepper Powder - 1/2 tsp
Oil - about 3 tbsp
Salt

How to bake crunchy Onion Rings in an oven:
  • Peel the onions and slice them 1/2 - 3/4 inch thick round slices. Separate them into rings.  Sprinkle salt and fresh ground black pepper.  Set it aside at room temperature for an hour or longer. Salt will soften the onions a little.  Traditionally, onion rings are soaked in buttermilk to soften them.  For me, just salt works fine.
  • Line two baking dishes with aluminium foil. Grease the lined dishes with little oil.
  • In a mixing bowl, add chickpea flour and little salt.  Add water, little at a time and make a smooth, thin (but not runny) batter. Chickpea flour works as a great vegan substitute for egg wash.
  • Dip the onion rings one at a time, in the chickpea batter, followed by a coating of bread crumbs.  Place the coated onion rings on the greased baking dishes.  Do not let the onion rings overlap.
  • Refrigerate the trays for about an hour or longer.  This will help the coating stick well to the onion rings.
  • Preheat the oven at 375 degrees F.  Drizzle some oil on the onion rings and bake for about 10 minutes.  Flip the rings and bake for another 8 - 10 minutes or until the bread crumbs turn golden brown.  Add more oil if required.
Serve crunchy Onion Rings with a dip of your choice.

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