Onion Bhajis

Onion Bhaji Recipe

Onion bhajis are the perfect accompaniment for many an Indian dish – meat-based curries benefit particularly from their presence as they provide a tasty, vegetarian contrast. Most people insist on purchasing sub-par bhajis from their local supermarket – I know not why – despite the fact they are exceedingly simple and quick to make – as the recipe below attests. Let’s hope that the almost seductive, golden-brown hue of these unassuming, spicy Indian snacks weans the general public off their mass-produced supply and onto something a little more choice. Excuses shall be ignored.

Onion Bhaji Recipe

So perfectly brisk are these bhajis that they have developed the curious habit of leaping from my (gorgeous) skillet with peculiar regularity – perhaps once or twice per week. Indeed, not only are they ideal for simultaneous consumption with all manner of Indian feast, they have a tendency to work jolly well as a meal all of their own. Every facet of this frugal recipe is bulging with flavour – from the gram flour to the spices – so much so that one could even spend lunch alone with a few and emerge satisfied. However, serve them with yoghurt/raita and pita and you’ll soon be leaping from your bath ejaculating (no sniggering) eurekas here, there and, perhaps, everywhere.

Onion Bhajis {recipe}

Makes 10-12


• 1 white onion, finely sliced

• 1 red onion, finely sliced

• 2 cloves of garlic, mashed

• 1 thumb of ginger, finely chopped

• ½ tsp turmeric

• ½ tsp garam masala

• 1 tsp chilli flakes

• 1 tsp ground cumin

• 100g gram flour

• 60-80ml water

• Sunflower or vegetable oil

• Salt


1. Slice the onions and put them in a large mixing bowl, separate each individual slice. Add all of the spices, garlic, ginger, gram flour and salt and mix it around a little. Add 1 tbsp of sunflower oil and 60ml of water. Mix it all together and add a little more water if the mixture isn’t loose enough – the batter should adequately coat the onion.

Onion Bhaji Recipe

2. Heat 4-5 tbsp of sunflower oil in a thick based pan over a medium heat. Once at temperature, take a little of the mixture and place it into the oil. Fry until golden brown on each side, allow enough time to cook through. Soak up any excess oil with kitchen roll.

Onion Bhaji Recipe

Cost: Everything about onion bhajis is frugal; onions and gram flour are exceedingly cheap. Indeed, the entire batch, enough for 3-4 people, should set one back no more than 80p!


59 thoughts on “Onion Bhajis

  1. narf77

    Again you triumph monseigneur Frugal (or should that be Frugal Saab to keep it in context with today’s post? ;) ). The very first ethnic wading pool that a new vegetarian/vegan usually tentitively dips their toes into tends to be Indian thanks to the plethora of veggie rich recipes that this delicious spicy cuisine delivers and the humble bhaji is just such a delicacy. Homemade it can be downright luxurious. You can make it with just about any vegetable folks…onion is just one of the tastiest varieties and there is something scrumptious about those long thin strips of onion taking on other forms and becoming crispy batter covered deliciousness and when dipped into something cooling it’s the fixin’s for all manner of occasions and can be dressed up accordingly. Cheers for another wonderful post and one that is completely translatable into our hot summer conditions…frypan cooking is easy peasy when the heat of the day is still ruminating about in the kitchen long after the sun goes down (although our sun is going down at 9.30pm at the moment…a little late for an evening meal methinks! ;) ). A plate full of these little beauties with a gorgeous fresh salad from the garden… Heaven! :)

    1. frugalfeeding

      Haha – thanks! I have tried lots of ethnic food, but find myself coming frequently back to Indian! I shall be doing more varieties, never you fear! Your life sounds heavenly. I want the sun to go down after 5pm please!

  2. Cathy

    Well, I never thought to make my own, assuming a deep-fat fryer was a requirement. And since I have never seen an onion bhaji in Germany, I shall have to try! Thanks! :D

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  5. PerfectKeg

    This is our go-to lunch when pretty well all we have in the house is, well, onions… But we’ve been casting around for the perfect recipe. We tried this one today – and it looks like this is it! Delicious w some home-made mango chutney and (fusion cuisine!) don-don noodles. Thanks!

  6. Julie

    I got hooked on onion bhajis when I was studying in the UK, but only recently did I start to see them on the occasional menu in America. And since few Americans have any idea what they are, and therefore don’t order them, they’re usually not great. But making my own… good idea!

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  9. The Wanderlust Gene

    In Sri Lanka Shriyarni sometimes made a delicious dipped cauliflower morsel to accompany our rice and curry. I’ve never been able to replicate it, but I think this batter would be terrific to dip the cauliflower into – the ginger and gram flower accentuating the sweetness of the cauli, just as it does the onion. I’ll give it a try and let you know. :)

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