Onion Bhajis (Indian Onion Fritters)
Delectable slivers of crispy sweet onion fritters eaten as a snack or alongside a majestic curry. Onion bhaji comes from India and has easily become one of Ireland's takeaway favourites but few venture to cook this from scratch. It's easier than what you might think. Imagine sitting on the couch with a plate of this on your lap and a cuppa chai, binging on Netflix.
A few notes: this recipe calls on using butter ghee - the foundation to many Indian dishes that seals in all the flavours from the spices and gives the onion bhaji a bit more depth. Gram flour (chickpea flour) gives it a slightly nutty flavour and adding cold sparkling water in the batter yields maximum crunchiness. Let's not fluff about with the spices either... cumin promotes digestion and is an excellent source of iron while fennel seeds help regulate blood pressure and great for those who want a clearer complexion.
Vegetarian and Gluten-Free
Makes 8 small fritters - the picture is of a medium sized onion bhaji because aesthetics.
- 60g gram flour
- 30g white rice flour
- 1 tbsp butter ghee, melted
- juice of 1/4 lemon
- cold sparkling water
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 1/4 tsp fennel seeds
- 1-2 small green chillies, minced
- 2 tsp ginger, minced
- 2 tsp garlic, minced
- 2 fresh curry leaves or 3 dried curry leaves, chopped
- small bunch of coriander, chopped
- 2 yellow onions, thinly sliced
- vegetable oil to deep fry
- mango chutney or aubergine pickle, to serve
What to do:
- Place some kitchen towel on a plate and set aside
- In a large mixing bowl, sift in the gram flour and white rice flour. Add butter ghee, lemon juice and enough sparkling water to end up with the same consistency as cream
- Stir in the turmeric, cumin powder, fennel seeds, chillies, ginger, garlic, curry leaves and coriander. Mix well. Add in the onion and mix well.
- Heat a wok or large pan with the vegetable oil and let it heat up to 180 degrees celsius. Place a bowl of cold water next to the wok. Test the oil by dropping a tiny bit of batter into the oil, if it floats then it's at the right temperature
- Wet your hands with the cold water and shape the mixture into tablespoon-sized balls and gently place into the oil without crowding the wok and making sure your hands are wet in between each shaping
- Stir carefully and cook for about 3 minutes, turning occasionally. Once they are cooked, place on the kitchen towel to drain. Serve with the mango chutney or aubergine pickle.