Regular readers will know that I went a bit crazy in the flour aisle a few weeks ago and bought lots of different flours, including gram flour (ground chickpeas). Onion bhajis are, of course, the perfect way to use gram flour and as I had never made them I thought it was time to give them a go.
I am in no way claiming authenticity with this recipe as I read a few and made up my own on that basis, but these bhajis were very good, so do please give them a go. I think next time I will add more than 1 tsp of crushed chillies as they were fairly mild; necessitating Mr OC to chomp on a raw chilli to make up for it – but then he is addicted!
They went perfectly with the cucumber and cumin dip that I made to go with them.
100g (4 oz) gram flour
1 tsp crushed chilli (or more if you want a greater kick to your bhaji), or you could use 1-2 fresh chillies chopped finely
1 heaped tsp cumin seed
1 heaped tsp coriander seed
1 tbsp oil
100ml warm water
salt to taste
Put a frying pan onto a medium heat until hot and then add the coriander and cumin seeds and cook until they release their scent. Pour them straight into a mortar and pound them to a fine powder with the pestle (or a bowl and a rolling-pin will do the job just as well).
Sieve the gram flour into a large bowl. Add the coriander, cumin, chilli and salt. Pour in the oil and water and mix to combine to a smooth batter. Leave to stand for 30 minutes.
Cut the onions in half and slice thinly. Add the onions to the batter and mix well.
Heat 4-5 cm of vegetable oil in a large pan until it reaches 170°c on a kitchen thermometer (or until a cube of bread turns golden brown in a few seconds).
Add spoonfuls of the batter, and you will need to do this 2-3 at a time or you will overcrowd the pan and they won’t cook properly. Remove as soon as they turn a golden brown and drain on crumpled kitchen paper. Keep warm until all the bhajis are cooked and serve as soon as possible.