1 large spring sweet onion, at least 4 inches across 1/3 cup cornstarch 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour 1/2 teaspoon chili powder 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 pinch each paprika, black pepper and cayenne pepper 1/4 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 cup cold water 1/3 cup flour, for dredging 4 cups vegetable oil, for deep frying ***Chili Cream Sauce*** 1/2 cup light sour cream 3/4 teaspoon chili powder 2 teaspoons lime juice 2 tablespoons hot ketchup salt, to taste
In medium bowl, mix cornstarch, flour, seasonings and baking powder. Using wire whisk, gradually beat in water and whip until smooth. Set aside.
Remove crisp outer skin of onion and trim roots, but do not cut into onion. Cut about 3/4-inch from top of onion. Then, cut crosswise directly down center of onion, being careful not to cut completely through bottom. Turn onion and cut crosswise down through center 7 more times to get 16 pie-shaped wedges. Remove small pieces in center to form a cavity about 1 inch across. Gently separate and spread petals apart. Heat vegetable oil to 375 degrees in deep, heavy skillet or deep fat frying pot.
Place onion flower upright on flat surface and sift or spoon flour between and over all petals until thoroughly coated. Turn onion flower over and repeat on bottom. Shake off excess.
Dip floured onion into batter, spooning batter between all petals. Invert and let excess drip off.
Carefully place in hot oil, petals up, and fry for 2 minutes. Turn over and fry 2 minutes longer, or until golden brown and tender. Drain. Turn upright and serve immediately with chili cream sauce.
CHILI CREAM SAUCE: In small bowl, combine all ingredients and mix until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to use. Makes 1/2 cup.
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