March 7, 2019
Asia is a wonderland for tasty, savoury fried snacks and near the top of everyone’s list is the onion bhaji, which of course is a staple in Indian restaurants here in the UK. They do however come in other forms to the ‘tennis ball’ usually found here, and if you’re making them yourself it works better (and is much easier) to do flat ones – this means the batter won’t be so cakey, you won’t need so much oil, and they cook faster and crispier. We include curry leaves and some fresh green chilli in our batter, just because we like them, but these aren’t essential if you don’t have them handy. The best bet for spicing up the bhaji batter is our Bombay Potato curry blend, but if you don’t have that in the pantry, use a blend of turmeric, cumin and coriander.
1In a large bowl, mix the flour, the bicarb and the spices and lemon juice. Now carefully mix in some water, a little at a time, until you have a thick batter which sticks to a spoon when you dip it in. If the batter is too thin, your bhaji may disintegrate upon hitting the oil.
2When the consistency of your batter is correct, tip in the sliced onion and mix thoroughly. Let the bhaji mix stand for a few hours in the fridge before you cook your bhajis.
3n a deep frying pan heat a few inches of sunflower oil, seasoned with a splash of mustard oil if you have any. The oil needs to be heated to about 180 degrees – you can test it by dropping in a little of the bhaji mix, if it comes to the top and sizzles your oil is good.
4Now carefully add the bhaji mix to the oil – the easiest way is to use a tablespoon of mix for each bhaji, scraping the mix off the spoon into the pan with a knife. Make sure the bhaji doesn’t stick to the pan by giving it a gentle shake, and a prod with the knife. Also don’t cook too many bhajis in the same batch, as this will lower the temperature of the oil and the bhajis won’t cook properly.
5When the bhaji has ‘set’ begin to turn frequently to ensure even cooking and cook for about five minutes, until the bhajis are deep golden brown and crispy. When ready drain the bhajis on some kitchen roll, and serve with mint raitha and mango chutney.