Saturday, 23 July 2011

Onion Bhajis and Cauliflower Pakoras GF

One of my favourite Indian foods, the traditional onion bhaji recipe is made with gram flour. Gram flour, which is also known as chickpea flour, garbanzo flour and Besan, is milled from naturally gluten-free gram or Chana Dahl, a small chickpea with a fine yellow colour. Having a low GI ranking, it is a healthy alternative to some of the widely used gluten-free flours which contain a high amount of starch. It has a sweet but earthy taste and is used widely in Indian and Middle Eastern cookery.

These spicy, delicious onion bhajis make an ideal snack as well as being a perfect starter. Although they are normally deep-fried, these bhajis are cooked in the oven, reducing the fat content.

UPDATE : I have recently updated the recipe, you can find it here.

Onion Bhajis GF

2 medium onions
100g Gram Flour
100ml water
1 tsp turmeric
2 rounded tsps ground cumin
2 rounded tsps garam masala
¼ tsp chilli powder or finely chopped fresh green chilli (optional)
3 tsps dried coriander leaves or handful fresh coriander chopped
salt to taste
pinch of bicarbonate of soda
extra virgin olive oil

Set the oven to 220°C and measure out the spices.

Weigh the gram flour and pour into a bowl.

Add the spices, coriander and salt.

Chop an onion into thin strips about 2.5 cm long.

Add the water to the gram flour and spices and mix well with a fork or hand whisk. Add a pinch of bicarbonate of soda. I make my batter quite thin but it's OK to thicken it up a little by adding more gram flour or by adding less water.

Add the onions to the batter and mix with a spoon until all the onion is coated.

Pour some extra virgin olive oil on to the baking tray and heat in the oven for about 5 to 10 minutes. Put spoonfuls of the onion batter on to the tray.

Cook in the oven for 10 minutes then flip them over with a spatula and cook for another 10 minutes.

To make the Cauliflower Pakoras, use fresh cauliflower and onion instead of just onion. Of course you can also use potato cubes, broccoli, mushrooms, green pepper and courgettes. Add chopped fresh green chilli peppers and garlic to add to the flavour.

Experiment with the spice quantities to make them hotter or milder. Definitely add chilli if you like them quite hot. These are one of our favourite supper dishes and any left over can be frozen or eaten cold for lunch the following day. To reheat, set the oven to 200°C, and heat on a baking tray for 10 to 15 minutes.

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  1. Wow, these look so easy! And I love onion bhajis! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  2. Oh my dad will love this! yumyum! thanks for sharing this baked version :)

  3. Oh, btw, I'd like to invite you to join Weekday Potluck Meme and link up your food entries for the week! :)

  4. Wow this LOOKS SO flavorful! Love the idea of using chickpea flour :)! Protein, fiber, and flavor together. Thanks so much for submitting to my clean eating event!

  5. Stopping by to say "Hi" after seeing your delicious entry on Mis Pensamientos :-)These look fabulous, and looks like you have some other great gluten-free recipes as well!

  6. These look great! Thanks for the follow on Twitter! I am sure my family will love these. I am going to have to subscribe to your site. We LOVE Indian food.

  7. These look really good. I am also a gluten free vegetarian blogger and your newest follower. I can't wait to try some of your recipes. I would love it if you visited my blog and followed me back.

  8. Where do you find this type of flour? I have never seen it yet i have seen it referenced? I think I will have to try using it!

  9. This recipe looks delicious! I'm sure it'll find its way to our table one day this week. Thanks for sharing it.

  10. Jen - It's sometimes called Besan or Chickpea flour, it's awesome for flatbreads and bhajis. Someone told me she used the batter to make Onion Rings something I yearn for so I'm going to tweak the batter a little and try it! We buy it at our local supermarket which has a World Food aisle.

    Aunt B - Thank you, once you've made them once they become a little addictive. Also, if you make enough they're great for packed lunches the following day!

  11. This looks delicious! I am going to have to try cooking with the gram flour. Sounds great! Thank you for sharing this great recipe on Fit and Fabulous Fridays! :)

  12. Thank you Amee! Gram Flour is a fantastic flour to use for gluten free dishes! we use it for flat breads as well!

  13. These look wonderful. Thank you for sharing the recipe. I've featured it on my News of the Day today.

  14. Thank you so much Aunt B, so very lovely of you! So pleased you liked them!

    Vicky x

  15. Wow, these look amazing! I will have to give these a try!

    1. Thank Vicky, I hope you enjoy them!

  16. Hi there. The current Food on Friday is all about onions! So it would be great if you linked this in. This is the link . Wishing you very happy Holidays!

  17. Vicky, thank you for linking this in to Food on Friday. We are now starting to get quite a collection of onion dishes together. Do stop by some of the other links to check them out!

    Ps I have just signed up to follow your blog. A follow back to Carole's Chatter would be wonderful – or have you already followed? Cheers

  18. These sound so good, thanks for sharing this delicious looking recipe.