What are onion bhajis?
Onion bhaji are an Indian snack or side dish that every curry loving brit will be very familiar with whether they stan these oniony snacks or not. Sadly though, whether you’re experiencing onion bhaji in a restaurant or buying them from a shop to cook at night they’ve probably been deep fried. This is because frying is actually a big part of what onion bhajis are. The word ‘bhaji’ actually means fried vegetable and a bhaji, if not specified, could be made with any vegetable. So really I suppose this onion bhaji recipe isn’t actually an onion bhaji recipe at all because no oil will be involved in this recipe just like all of my other recipes! I suppose you could call it an onion bake-ji!
Do you have a diet restriction?
This recipe is great for those with the following diet restrictions:
- Dairy Free
- Nut Free
Onion bhajis come in many different shapes and sizes. The ones you may find in a takeaway are largely ‘fluffed up’ with potato or lentils making them somewhat lacklustre and very reminiscent of a falafel. Often if you order one in a restaurant you will receive a much more visually stimulating bhaji with plenty of long onion strands all tangled together into a ball and covered in a crisp flavour rich batter. This was the kind of onion bhaji recipe I wanted to make. Don’t forget to subscribe and follow me on socials so that you never miss any of my healthy recipes for weight loss.
Step 1: Prepare the onion
To start with, grab two white onions and slice into rings and then cut those rings in half, this will give you nice long strands of onion. Cook these onions in a saucepan or wok until they are soft. This should take about 10 minutes.
Step 2: Coat the onion in batter
Empty the onions out into a large bowl. Using all of the other ingredients (flour, turmeric, cumin, coriander, ginger, chilli, tomato puree and water) mix up a thick batter and pour this into the cooked onions. Mix the onions and the batter really well and separate into 4.
Step 3: Bake the onion bhajis
Line a baking tray and preheat an oven to 200C if you haven’t already done so. Spoon your mixture onto the baking tray in 4 blobs. I find these look so much more appealing when they look really messy so you don’t need to try and neaten these into perfect circles unless you really want to.Bake for 30 minutes or until completely crispy on the outside. Serve as a side to curry or as a lunch option with raita or mango chutney. Check out my mango chutney recipe!
1. Garam Masala Twist
Infuse a warm and aromatic note by adding a teaspoon of garam masala to the batter. This traditional Indian spice blend will complement the existing spices and add depth to the flavor.
2. Garlic Lover’s Delight
Intensify the savory profile by incorporating minced garlic into the batter. The addition of garlic brings a robust and aromatic element to the onion bhajis.
3. Cilantro Crunch
Add a burst of freshness and a delightful crunch by mixing chopped fresh cilantro (coriander leaves) into the batter. This variation provides a bright herbaceous flavor to balance the spices.
4. Yogurt Drizzle
Create a tangy contrast by serving the baked onion bhajis with a side of seasoned yogurt. Mix plain yogurt with a pinch of cumin, coriander, and a dash of lemon juice for a refreshing dipping sauce.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Can I use whole wheat flour instead of white flour?
Certainly! You can substitute whole wheat flour for a nuttier and heartier flavor. Keep in mind that whole wheat flour may result in a denser texture.
What can I serve as a dipping sauce?
Pair these baked onion bhajis with a mint chutney, tamarind sauce, or a zesty yogurt sauce for a delightful dipping experience.
Can I make the batter in advance?
Yes, you can prepare the batter ahead of time and refrigerate it. However, for the crispiest bhajis, it’s best to mix the batter just before baking.
Can I add other vegetables to the batter?
Certainly! Experiment with shredded carrots, finely chopped bell peppers, or grated zucchini to add additional flavors and textures to the bhajis.
Can I make these gluten-free?
Yes, you can use a gluten-free flour blend as a substitute for wheat flour to make gluten-free baked onion bhajis. Ensure that all other ingredients are gluten-free as well.
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