Because they’re deep fried I don’t have them too often - which is no bad thing really.
But I may be having them more often after finding a recipe for Onion Bhajis that are baked and not deep fried, making them easier to cook plus being healthier as well - there is a God after all!
I’ve tried making them twice now (for research you understand), and after a couple of tweaks I think these are as good as the deep fried ones.
Crispy on the outside, yet soft in the middle, these wonderfully spiced Onion Bhajis tick all the healthy food boxes, and I assure you that you won’t want to buy the ready made deep fried ones again - from anywhere!
1kg brown onions (thinly sliced into half moon shapes)
2 tbsp rapeseed oil
1½ tsp cumin seeds
2-3cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped. Or a tsp of ginger paste if you have any.
1 fresh green chilli, finely chopped (no seeds)
½ tsp tumeric powder
1 tsp coriander powder
½ tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
180g Gram flour
squeeze of lemon juice
Note on ingredients Kashmiri chilli powder is used for it's colour as well as its medium heat. It can be found in the likes of Sainsburys but any red chilli powder can be used if you can't get it.
Gram Flour is made from ground chickpeas and is a staple ingredient in Indian cooking. It is also gluten free. You can buy it these days in most supermarkets.
Peel and slice the onions into half moon shapes about ½ cm thick and place in a deep saucepan.
Add a couple of tablespoons of rapeseed oil to the onions and sprinkle with a little salt. Stir to coat, and cook gently with a lid on for about 20-30 minutes until the onions are translucent and soft to the touch. Adding the salt brings the moisture out of the onions, helping them cook in their own juices without the need to add more oil.
When done, put into a large bowl with ½ teaspoon of salt and the rest of the dry ingredients. Mix well. All the onion pieces should be coated with a thick batter. You can add a little bit of water if the mixture seems too dry, but I found the moisture from the onions was enough. Finally, a squeeze of lemon juice just freshens everything up.
Heat the oven to 180℃ and put a dollop of the onion mixture onto a lined baking tray. Flatten slightly and bake for 25 - 35 minutes until golden brown and crispy, becoming a bit charred round the edges. In the photograph, I made 16 largish Bhajis, about the same size as the ones you would get in an Indian restaurant, but you could easily make 32 half the size, and serve them as nibbles if you have friends around.
I made a dip with natural yoghurt and mango chutney which was lovely, but feel free to make (or buy) your own dip of choice.