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Archive for February 22nd, 2010

Crisp outside, spicy and soft inside, Onion Bhajis are delicious: fried onions with a twist.  When we visit an Indian restaurant it is not unusual for all of us to order them as a starter or to accompany the main course.  I have seen packets of ready mix in supermarkets and local ethnic shops, but I hadn’t realised just how easy they were to make until I found this recipe: simply spoonfuls of fried, spicy diced onion and chick pea (besan/gram) flour batter mixture. I shall definitely be making these now when I serve Indian style food to friends.

The recipe comes from a library book Curry: Easy Recipes for all your favourites by Sunil Vijayakar, which has a good selection of uncomplicated sounding recipes. It is better if the onion is chopped fairly finely (but not very finely) and the batter quite thick so that the mixture does not easily fall apart when being cooked. I also found that putting the mixture in the fridge to chill for a while helped them to hold together, a bit like Salt Fish Cakes. In fact the method is not dissimilar.  The original recipe calls for deep frying (in sunflower oil heated to 180oC for 1-2 minutes) but I found that they could be shallow fried just as easily, which is a (slightly) healthier option. Make them fairly close to serving to keep their crispness, but they could be kept warm for a short while. Serve either as a first course accompanied with Lime Pickle and/or Mango Chutney or as one of the vegetable options in a mixed Indian style menu.

'Meanderings through my Cookbook' http://www.hopeeternalcookbook.wordpress.com

Onion Bhajis
(Makes about 16)

250g gram flour/besan/chick pea flour
1tsp chilli powder (mild/medium/hot, depending on taste
1tsp ground turmeric
1tbsp crushed coriander seeds
3 large onions, chopped fairly finely
6 curry leaves, fresh if possible
Sunflower oil for frying (deep or shallow)
Salt
Chopped fresh coriander to serve, if available.

1. Mix the gram flour, chilli powder, turmeric, coriander seeds and a pinch of salt together in a bowl.

2. Add water to make a thick batter, which will hold the onion together.

3. Stir in the onions and curry leaves. If necessary add a little more flour.

4. Form the mixture into balls, using a little flour on the hands and surface to stop them sticking too much. Put them in the fridge to chill for at least 10minutes.

5. Shallow fry in sunflower oil until golden brown.

6. Serve garnished with some chopped fresh coriander if available and Lime Pickle and/or Mango chutney for a first course.

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