Bhaji on the Bake

Recently I’ve become slightly (re)addicted to baking bhajis, and since they disappear almost as soon as they come out of the oven, I thought I’d share the recipe I go by.

Baked Onion Bhajis*

3oz/80g Hodmedod’s** yellow (or green) pea flour (you can use the more traditional gram flour, but I love the lightness and taste of the ones using the pea flour).
1oz/28g brown rice flour
2 medium onions, sliced finely
1/2 to 1 ring of fire chilli chopped up very finely (Note: these are very hot. If you can’t stand the heat, stay in the kitchen, but use one or two milder chillis).
2 tsp roughly ground cumin seeds
1 tsp organic garam masala
1/2 tsp ground tumeric
1/2 tsp organic chilli powder (mild)
sea salt
bunch of fresh coriander (leaves chopped up fine)
olive oil

In a bowl mix the flours and the salt together, making sure they’re evenly distributed.

Now add everything else except the olive oil and mix together. Then add up to 75ml water, bit by bit, and keep mixing until all the onions are covered with the slightly wet (but not sloppy) and rather sticky mixture.

Using a tablespoon of mixture for each bhaji (this should make about 6 decent-sized ones), place on a baking tray greased with olive oil, and bake in the oven at 180C. After 10 – 15 minutes, take the bhajis out, turn them over and drizzle each one with olive oil. This is key, as it gives the bhajis a deep-fried texture (but without using so much oil). Bake for another 10 minutes or so.

I like these hot or cold with homemade chutney and/or lime or mango pickle. Plus chopped fresh tomatoes when they’re in season. Yesterday they were also accompanied by a baked achocha (pictured), which was a superb and mild complement to the spicy bhajis.

* The recipe here is partly inspired by one at Chef Jeena’s Food Recipes online, see Baked Onion Bhajis with Buckwheat Flour, and partly by Maunika Gowardhan’s one for deep-fried onion pagode (aka bhajis) in her book Indian Kitchen, Hodder and Stoughton, 2015).

** Check out ace British pulse and grain (and flour) pioneers Hodmedod’s for some truly sustainable (and excellent) produce grown on British farms: Hodmedod’s


One response to this post.

  1. Never heard of these. I can’t wait to make them. They sound fabulous. Thanks!!


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