Onion bhajis

Onion bhajis

By
From
The Curry Guy
Serves
4-8

Onion bhajis and vegetable pakora are best cooked in two stages. The first cooking is in oil that is hot enough to sizzle and cook them through. The bhajis are then removed to rest and the oil temperature is increased. The cooked bhajis are then fried again in the hotter oil to give them a darker and crispier exterior.

Mixing the sliced onions with salt at the beginning of the recipe is key to making the perfect bhajis. If you were to bend a fresh onion slice, it would snap. The salt releases moisture from the onion slices so that they become limp and no longer snap when bent. This makes it easier to form your bhajis.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
3 onions (slightly larger than tennis balls), sliced
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
4 tablespoons rice flour
140g chickpea (gram) flour
1 tablespoon Garlic and ginger paste
2.5cm piece of ginger, peeled and cut into matchsticks
2 fresh green chillies, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon Panch poran
2 tablespoons rapeseed oil, plus extra for deep-frying
3 tablespoons finely chopped coriander leaves

Method

  1. Place the sliced onions in a bowl, sprinkle over the salt and mix it all up with your hands to ensure the onions are evenly coated with the salt. Let them sit for 30 minutes or up to 2 hours; the salt will release the moisture from the onions, which will become part of your batter.
  2. When ready to form your bhajis, sift the flours over the onions and add the garlic paste, ginger, chillies, panch poran, 2 tbsp oil and coriander. Begin to work these ingredients into the sliced onions with your hands until they are nicely coated. There should be enough moisture from the onions and oil, but if you are finding it a bit too sticky, add just a little water. When you can easily form a bhaji with your hands, you’re ready to go.
  3. Heat about 10cm of rapeseed oil to 160°C in a large pan. Form the onion mixture into bhajis about the size of golf balls, or larger if you prefer. Fry in small batches until lightly browned and cooked through, then remove them with a slotted spoon to a rack to rest while you fry the rest of your bhajis.
  4. When all the bhajis are cooked, raise the heat of the oil to 180°C and fry them again in small batches until you are happy with the colour of the exterior. Serve immediately or, if working ahead, place the bhajis on a rack placed over a foil-lined dish in a low oven for up to 30 minutes.

Other ideas:

  • You can make vegetable pakoras in the same way, adding whatever vegetable you like to the mix. Broccoli and cauliflower cut into small pieces both work well. Diced potatoes, chopped green chillies, courgettes and aubergines are also good.
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