Friday 22 January 2016

Crispy Onion Bhajis.

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Are you a fan of all things crispy, deeply savoury and fried?
If so, you have got to make these onion bhajis as soon as is humanly possible.
I still cannot believe that it took us so long to try them out!

In our house, pakoras are always a huge favourite. But truth be told, because we make giant batches of them at a time, they can be quite an effort to make. Chopping all the vegetables, mixing them into the batter, making sure it's the right consistency, heating the oil up, frying in batches upon batches - you get the picture.

We had never really tried cooking or even eating the onion bhaji until now. And you guys, we are hooked. The humble onion takes centre stage and when fried becomes the sweetest thing imaginable.
Bound together with a spicy batter flecked with plenty of fresh coriander, it is amazing. The best bit of a pakora for me, was always those extra crispy bits at the edges. Let me tell you, these onion bhajis are crispy all over, making them very moreish indeed. You may want to double the recipe because these naturally gluten-free, even vegan golden morsels will not last long. Don't say I didn't warn you!

Fried Savoury Snacks, previously: Crispy Chicken Nuggets // Pakistani Chicken Samosas // Chicken Vegetable Spring Rolls // Vegetable Pakoras // Spicy Fish Pakoras

A Simple List of Ingredients:
1. Onions
2. Fresh Coriander
3. Crushed Red Chilli Flakes
4. Ground Coriander
5. Cumin Seeds
6. Salt
7. Gram Flour
8. Cornflour
9. Water
10. Vegetable Oil

Bismillah, let's begin!

Our recipe begins of course, with onions. Take 3 large Onions.

Peel them.

Grab a chopping board and a knife.

Slice the onions into half-moon shapes. You can do any shape really, as long as they're thinly cut and roughly the same size.

Once they're all sliced, place them into a large bowl.

{Note: You could add any other vegetable to this same batter - sliced potatoes, frozen peas, chopped cauliflower?}

Next, a small bunch of Fresh Coriander. This will bring a whole lot of green to our bhajis. 

Give it a good chop.

And, add to the bowl with the onions.

Next, the spices! We will be using red chilli, ground coriander, cumin seeds and salt.

Add in 1 teaspoon Crushed Red Chilli Flakes (or to taste).

3 teaspoons Ground Coriander

2 teaspoons Cumin Seeds

Finally, 1 teaspoon Salt (or to taste).

Mix everything well until all the spices are coating the onion.

Now that the onions are ready, it's time for our flours.

To the onions, add 165 grams (6 heaped tablespoons) Gram Flour. This is the same as chickpea flour and is also called besan.

Next, 40 grams (2 heaped tablespoons) Cornflour. This is what will make our bhajis super crispy!

Give everything another stir so that the onions are evenly coated in both flours.

Our last ingredient is water. We used a total of 115 ml Water.

With the water, we want to add it a little at a time.

After each addition, mix well - ideally by hand.

Keep adding the water, mixing as you go, until you have a sticky mixture - it should hold its shape when lifted into a ball.

If the mixture is still too wet, add more gram flour.
If the mixture is still too dry, add more water.

Now that our batter is ready, it's time to heat the oil. We used corn oil but any vegetable oil will do. Fill a deep pan or karahi with Vegetable Oil until it is half-full. Heat over a medium flame.

When the oil is hot (you'll know this when a little batter added, sizzles), begin adding the bhajis. We used a tablespoon at a time.

Once the pan is full, do not touch the bhajis.

Let them firm up slightly and rise to the surface.

Then, gently turn them and cook until golden brown and crispy on both sides.

Remove them from the hot oil with a slotted spoon.

Drain on paper towels.

Then, continue frying the rest of the batch.

When the bhajis are ready, dig in! These will not last long at all - I love them dipped in ketchup or chilli sauce. See more sauces and dips here. Enjoy!

Full Written Recipe:

Crispy Onion Bhajis.

Prep Time: About 15 minutes.
Cook Time: About 8-10 minutes.
Serves: Makes about 22 medium bhajis.

3 large Onions, peeled and sliced into half-moons
1 small bunch Fresh Coriander, chopped
1 teaspoon Crushed Red Chilli Flakes (or to taste)
3 teaspoons Ground Coriander
2 teaspoons Cumin Seeds
1 teaspoon Salt (or to taste)
165 grams (6 heaped tablespoons) Gram Flour
40 grams (2 heaped tablespoons) Cornflour
115 ml Water or enough to make a sticky mixture
Vegetable Oil, to deep-fry


To make the bhaji batter, place the sliced onions, chopped coriander, red chilli, ground coriander, cumin seeds and salt into a large bowl. Mix well.
Add the gram flour and cornflour. Then, pour the water in gradually, mixing as you go, until you get a sticky mixture – it should hold its shape when lifted into a ball.
If your batter is still too dry, gradually add more water.
If your water is still too wet, gradually add more gram flour.

To fry the bhajis, fill a deep pan or karahi, half full with vegetable oil. Heat over a medium flame.
Add a tiny bit of batter to check when the oil is hot – it should sizzle.
If you are unsure about your seasonings, you should fry one bhaji first, taste it, adjust if needed then continue with the rest.
Add tablespoons of the bhaji mixture to the hot oil. Do not touch them until they have firmed up and float to the top. Then, turn and cook until golden brown on both sides. This should be done on a medium flame with you present at all times.

Once cooked, remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and place on paper towels to drain.
Finish cooking the rest of the batch.

Serve immediately! The bhajis are best fresh and hot so enjoy with your favourite chutneys and sauces – enjoy!

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Keep me in your duas please, and enjoy your bhajis,


Spice Enthusiast
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