I’ve been utterly taken with making my own onion bhajis, they are just brilliant. Yes, you do need to shallow fry them in oil, thereby having to heat a large quantity of oil on your hob (mildly scary and dangerous) and chop tear inducing onions. But they are worth it I promise you. Much lighter and tastier than their take-away counterparts and much less greasy these are worth the effort.
Also (I haven’t tried this yet) but I am sure to use this recipe as a vehicle to use up gluts of vegetables from my garden in the summer. I’m thinking half onion to either half grated carrot, beetroot or courgette. Perhaps even some shredded runner beans? I guess in this way they become more like pakoras, but whatever they are they’ll be delicious.
I like to heat my oil in a wok, as it has lots of space and high sides. I fill it with about 2-3 inches of oil. Just enough that the bhajis float but I need to turn them to get both sides fully done. You could fully deep-fry if you wish but I don’t like heating huge quantities of oil – I am very prone to accidents.
This recipe is adapted from one by an excellent Indian food writer Sunil Vijayakar and makes about 10 small bhajis. Perfect as a starter or side dish with a curry dinner.
2 small/medium sized white onions
5tbsp chickpea flour (available in many supermarkets now)
1tbsp sunflower oil
Half tsp sugar
1tsp lemon juice
1tsp ground cumin
Half tsp turmeric
1 fresh green chilli, finely chopped, or some dried red chilli
¾ tsp baking powder
Sunflower oil for deep frying
Mango chutney and yogurt or raita to serve
1. Mix all the ingredients, expect the oil for frying, together well until combined and leave to rest for 10 minutes.
2. Heat the oil to 180 degrees or until a chunk of white bread crisps up and goes brown in 30 seconds.
3. Drop small spoonfuls of the mixture into the hot oil in batches and fry for 2-3 minutes until golden brown and crisp. Serve hot with dips.