Saturday, 26 September 2015


I love onion bhaji's and for years I have tried to make my own at home but every time I've tried they have either fallen apart in the pan or been too stodgy. Yesterday however I finally achieved it, a tasty and delicious bhaji that is so simple to make. All you need is some flour, onions, baking powder and spices. Whisk them together and then deep fry and depending on how quick you can heat your oil you can have 12 yummy crispy treats on your dinner table in less than 30 minutes! If an idiot like me can make them then I'm sure that you all will be able too as well!

I  think the secret to the bhaji's not falling apart in the pan comes from the use of the chickpea flour. To me, it seemed to make the batter a bit thicker but with the addition of some normal plain flour and the baking powder in the mixture you still achieve light and crispy bhaji's once they have been for a dip in the oil. Chickpea (or gram flour) can be found in most large supermarkets or world food stores but if you are having trouble locating it I suppose you could make the batter using wholly plain flour however I cannot guarantee that the bhaji's will hold up during the frying stage so don't have a go a me if they don't work. If you do try them with just plain flour though please comment on this post to let others know if it is a success!

When it comes to the onions, I've used red. They are my favorite onion and they really compliment the spices in the batter. When chopping then you want a bit of texture and variety in your bhaji's so chop half on the onions into thin strips whilst finely dicing the remaining. The large pieces give the bhaji their interesting shapes as well as giving them some crunch whilst the smaller onions help to bind them together and create the body of the bhaji.You can use white onions if you wish but don't use anything small such a shallot as you wont be able to get those big strips of onions that you need.

Lets get too it! Remember that there is hot oil being used in this recipe so always remember to take care and have a damp tea towel to hand in case of any accidents. Invest in a cooking thermometer to monitor the temperature of the oil or you can drop in a small piece of the batter and if it fizzes instantly and vigorously then your oil is ready:

Onion Bhajis

50g Chickpea Flour
60g Plain Flour
1/2 Tsp Baking Powder
1/2 Tsp Ground Cumin
1/2 Tsp Ground Turmeric
1/2 Tsp Curry Powder
Pinch Of Salt And Pepper
3 Small Chopped Red Onions (See Above)
Vegetable Oil For Frying

  1. Begin by mixing together both the flours, baking powder, cumin, turmeric, curry powder, salt and pepper in a bowl until well combined. Slowly pour in 125ml of cold water and whisk together until a smooth batter has formed. It should be slightly thick but still runny (its hard to describe but with these quantities you should be OK).  Leave to one side to rest.
  2. At this point line a baking tray with grease proof paper and turn you oven on to 160 degrees (140 fan). This is to keep the bhaji's warm whilst you fry them in batches. Heat the vegetable oil to 180 degrees.
  3. Whilst the oil heats up, tip in the onions to the batter and mix everything together until the onions are all coated in the batter. Once the oil is at 180, carefully spoon in around 1 tbsp of the onion batter at a time into the oil until you have 4 bhaji's bobbing around in the oil. Don't mess around with them for 2 minutes to help them keep there shape and then begin to turn them so that they get evenly brown and crispy all over. They should be ready after around 3-4 minutes in the oil in total
  4. Once ready, remove the bhaji's from the oil with a slotted metal spoon and drain any excess oil on kitchen roll before placing them on your lined baking tray and popping them in the oven to keep warm whilst you repeat the process with the remaining batter.
When all the bhaji's are all ready, remove them from the oven and serve instantly with a big tub of sour cream dip. The bhaji's are best when straight out the fryer/oven as this is when they are at their most crispiest so don't leave them lying around for too long before eating them although you can regain crispiness by warming them up again in the oven if you want to prepare them in advance of serving. A sour cream or mayo based dip works best with the bhaji's as they compliment the warm spices in he batter. There you have it! Delicious bhaji's that even an idiot like me can make.

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