When I first ate onion bhajis, I was genuinely surprised by how delicious they were. I'm not overly fond of spicy food but once I'd tasted these mildly spiced, golden bites of joy, they swiftly became a huge favourite. I posted an onion bhaji recipe a few years ago but I now tend to make this version since we always have ginger and coriander in the fridge. However, since both recipes have their merits, I've decided to post this recipe in addition to my original one rather than updating the original post.
If you can, please try to make the batter at least a couple of hours before cooking the bhajis since it allows all the flavours to come together beautifully. I normally make my batter in the morning and leave it covered, in the fridge, until evening.
You could probably deep fry these if you wish but we prefer to oven-bake them, a healthier low fat alternative. Also, I always use extra virgin olive oil in the pan but you could use your favourite oil instead.
There have been several scare stories about heating EVOO because of its low smoke point but in recent years evidence has come to light that defends the use of the oil in cooking. You may be surprised by the information in the article here.
Onion Bhajis GF
100g gram flour
80 -100 ml water
2 - 3 medium onions
2 - 3 garlic cloves
1 - 2 red chillies (to taste)
2 rounded tsps fresh ginger (or about ¼" - ½" piece)
½ rounded tsp ground turmeric
1 rounded tsp cumin seeds
Small handful of chopped fresh coriander
1 tsp lemon juice
pinch of bicarbonate of soda (optional)
Freshly ground sea salt and black pepper
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Measure the gram flour (also known as besan flour or chickpea flour) into a bowl.
- Grind the cumin seeds with a pestle and mortar or grind in a mini chopper.
- Finely chop the garlic, chillies and ginger, I use this Mini Chopper, it's one of my favourite gadgets.
- Tip the chopped garlic, chillies, ginger, ground cumin seeds and turmeric into the gram flour, add salt to taste and a generous amount of black pepper.
- Add enough water to make a thick batter, 100 ml is the maximum amount you should need.
- Add the lemon juice.
- Cover the batter and leave in a cool place for at least 2 hours.
- Set the oven to 200°C.
- Slice the onions thinly (see my other recipe post).
- Add a pinch of bicarbonate of soda to the batter and tip enough onion slices into the batter until they are all coated.
- Tip in the chopped, fresh coriander.
- Pour enough extra virgin olive oil on to a baking tray to coat it and heat in the oven for about 5 to 10 minutes.
- Place spoonfuls of the onion batter on to the baking tray (between 9 and 12).
- Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes, turning the bhajis half way through the cooking time.
- The bhajis are lovely when served with mango chutney.