fried onions

Fried Onions Recipe (Crispy Onions /Birista)

By Swasthi on December 4, 2022, Comments, Jump to Recipe

Make Crispy Fried Onions at home with my 3 ingredient recipe. Also known as birista, these are thin onion slices deep fried to perfection until golden, fragrant and crisp. Fried onions are great to use in all your Biryanis, Pulao and Korma dishes. A few tablespoons of these fried onions in your curry paste, is going to impart a magical flavor. Plus you can also garnish your soups, salads and pilafs with amazing birista. For a healthier option you can also air fry but you won’t get the same flavor and texture.

fried onions

Fried Onions (Birista)

Biryani without crisp fried onions is incomplete and it sure lacks the flavor. You may have noticed that a lot of time goes into making fried onions every time you make a biryani or korma.

Making these ahead is a one-time task but they will last very long in your freezer without getting rancid or the flavors being diminished.

Having a pack of these birista ready in your freezer makes you want to make biryani and kormas more often.

I know you may think of using the store bought crispy onions. But most of the times they smell rancid or if they don’t they are fried in vegetable fat like Vanaspati or even other kinds of fat which are not healthy.

A lot of times I start my biryani from scratch and that includes frying the onions as well. I love to use ghee if I am making a small batch of biryani just enough for the day. Other times I prefer to use oil.

Fried onions can be made with just 2 ingredients – onions and oil. But I prefer to use the third ingredient corn starch which gives them an amazing extra crisp texture without altering their flavor.

I learnt this trick many many years ago from the popular Hyderabadi Chef Sanjay Thumma. A little sprinkle of corn starch gives great results. However if you want to avoid it, you may leave out. They will still turn out good.

You can use beresta to make
Veg biryani
Chicken biryani
Mutton biryani
Paneer biryani

How to Make Crispy Fried Onions (Stepwise Photos)

1. Wash, peel and slice 1 large onion to thin slices.

2. Sprinkle corn flour. Toss them.

add flour to make fried onions for biryani

3. Fry in hot oil until golden.

frying beresta for biryani

4. Drain on a kitchen tissue. Cool crispy onions and store in a air tight freezer safe container or zip lock bag.

fried onions recipe

Related Recipes

Recipe Card

fried onions

Fried Onions Recipe (Crispy Onions/Birista)

Make perfect crisp fried onions at home with this recipe. Use them in biryanis, pilafs, korma dishes and curries.
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For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card

Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time7 minutes
Total Time12 minutes
Servings0.5 cup

Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )

  • 1 onion large
  • 1 teaspoon corn starch (corn flour, optional)
  • ½ to ¾ cup oil (deep frying oil)


How to Make Fried Onions

  • Wash and peel onion.
  • Cut onions into evenly thin slices and ensure they are almost of same thickness.
  • Sprinkle corn flour on the slices and toss them.
  • Heat oil in a deep pan till medium hot but not smoking hot.
  • Reduce the flame to medium. Add few onion slices at one time and deep fry until crisp.
  • Transfer them to an absorbent paper. Fry all the onions in batches. Cool them completely and store in a airtight jar.

Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.

For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips above the recipe card.

NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)

Nutrition Facts
Fried Onions Recipe (Crispy Onions/Birista)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 505 Calories from Fat 414
% Daily Value*
Fat 46g71%
Saturated Fat 3g19%
Trans Fat 0.2g
Polyunsaturated Fat 13g
Monounsaturated Fat 29g
Sodium 9mg0%
Potassium 321mg9%
Carbohydrates 24g8%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 9g10%
Protein 2g4%
Vitamin A 4IU0%
Vitamin C 16mg19%
Calcium 51mg5%
Iron 0.5mg3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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© Swasthi’s Recipes

Fried Onions Recipe (Crispy Onions /Birista)

About Swasthi

I’m Swasthi Shreekanth, the recipe developer, food photographer & food writer behind Swasthi’s Recipes. My aim is to help you cook great Indian food with my time-tested recipes. After 2 decades of experience in practical Indian cooking I started this blog to help people cook better & more often at home. Whether you are a novice or an experienced cook I am sure Swasthi’s Recipes will assist you to enhance your cooking skills. More about me

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Hi Swasthi,

Just wondering how many fried onion a large onion will yield? I am thinking if I can use the fried onion sold in supermarket?

Recipes are always exciting to make

looks so yummy! Will give it a try.

5 stars
Hi, How long can I preserve the onion fry in the frige?

I bought from market how long can i store

Hi Swasthi Excellent picture of the fried onion good tips. Thank you very much.

5 stars
where can buy corn flour…is it the same as corn meal?

they looks too crispy.. perfect with biriyani..