Onion bhaji

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.

2 onions
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.

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18 thoughts on “Onion bhaji”

  1. I’ve never seen these before. We’ve retired to a small community in the Pacific Northwest. Because we live in a college town, I think I’ll be able to get the ingredients I need to give these a try. Thanks for posting this. Have a wonderful day.

  2. I bet these tasted good, they certainly look like they did. Always difficult I find to judge chilli. I made Thai lentil soup for lunch today and definitely overdid it on the chilli front – luckily everyone eating it were hardened curry fans, so I got away lightly.

  3. Kath,
    They look so delicious. I love pakoras aka bhaji’s. I also love the fact that they are pretty versatile. You can cook with many vegetables, such as spinach. I even recently tried with some vegetarian haggis. Yours certainly do look moorish and I wouldn’t mind one for breakfast. Yep I’m off to work now.

  4. We travel across rome once a twice a month for our Indian fix (I used to live near brick lane in london so I was spoiled for wonderful Indian Food)
    I really should start experimenting at home.
    Overwelmed with lemons and coming back to London on friday – panic cooking jam and might cry.

    1. Well, I hope you didn’t have a lemon related breakdown and that you are now on your way to enjoying the company of family and friends and that includes the cheddar and the marmite!

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