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.
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 onion bhaji 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.
Indian food is one of those cuisines that has a million and one side-dishes that could accompany each curry. Similar to these bhajis, my recipe for Spinach Pakoras make for a flavoursome and crispy accompaniment.
• 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
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.
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.
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!