The final component of our recent weekend meal was to produce a cheeky little side snack, in the form of onion bhajis.
Something of a staple whenever we order in a curry, I wanted to step things up and make a bunch of fresh bhajis as opposed to bunging a pack in the oven.
I wanted to produce some lightly spiced bhajis from freshly cut onions that once cooked were light, crispy and golden.
Perfect to go with a set of pickles on the as a starter or in our case as a side with the curry to mop up some of that additional sauce.
Lord knows that chopping onions into thinly sliced pieces is something of a nightmare. Not just because you need a certain amount of knife skill, but the ability to do so without shedding a tear or two can be a problem as well.
Thankfully my Dad, being sick of ripping his hands open time and time again, offered me their V Slicer or mandolin.
With careful use, I was able to produce thin slivers of onion with ease and in no time at all. Making use of the dishwasher to clean things up so that we don’t risk additional injury.
Here is what I tried out after comparing several recipes on the Google.
- 90g Gram Flour
- 1 tbsp butter, melted
- Juice of ¼ lemon
- ½ tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- ¼ tsp fennel seeds
- ¼ tsp Cayenne Pepper
- 2 tsp root ginger, finely grated
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 2 onions, halved, core removed and thinly sliced
- Vegetable oil, to cook
- Sieve the gram flour into a bowl then add the melted butter, lemon juice and a touch of water to bring the consistency to that of double cream.
- Now you can add the dry ingredients including the spices, garlic, ginger and chopped coriander. Give things a good mix.
- Finally, add the thinly chopped onions and combine with the mixture until everything is well coated
- If you’re blessed with a deep fat fryer, set the temperature to 180°C and you’re ready to go. Otherwise, top up a pan with plenty of vegetable oil and turn up the heat.
With the pan method, you will know when things are hot enough when you drop a piece of onion into the oil and it fizzles up – floating to the surface.
- Scoop a portion of the sticky mixture with a spoon and drop it into the oil, allowing to it to cook for around 4-5 minutes.
Add as many as you can without things getting to overcrowded and turn them over occasionally until the onion bhaji is golden brown & crisp on both sides.
- Once cooked, place them on a tray lined with a little kitchen roll and place in a warm oven until you are ready to serve.
The kitchen roll soaks up any left over cooking oil.
Any other pointers?
Ensuring you have a bowl of water on the side, you can shape the bhajis by hand and drop them into the oil rather than scooping with a spoon and dropping them in.
The idea is to wet your hands first, shape the bhaji and place it in the pan. wet your hands again and move on with the second – and so on.
Mine were done with spoon scooping method and held together well.
The mixture can be made ahead of time to allow you to focus on more pressing matters.
This allows you to get everything else done before you start on the bhajis, that way you can focus your time on getting them perfect and keeping things safe around the kitchen.