Oven Baked Pepper and Onion Bhaji

We have eaten more than our fair share of meat in this household this week so last night I wanted to do something meatless.  I have posted onion bhajis before, but last night I didn’t feel like deep-frying.  I wanted something a little bit healthier.  So I decided to give cooking the bhajis baked in the oven a go and they taste just as good as the deep-fried variety.

I served them with a cauliflower curry, rice and a cucumber and yoghurt dip.  Very tasty it all was too, except I might add more spice to the cauliflower next time as a cauli can soak up a lot of flavour. So I will work on that before I post it here.

I used the same batter as last time, but because they were going to be oven baked I sweated the pepper and onion slices before putting them in the batter.  Then I could be sure they would be cooked through.

Gram flour is made from ground chickpeas and imparts a delicious nuttiness and a beautiful yellow colour.

1 small red pepper, sliced thinly
1 onion, sliced thinly
1 tsp coriander seed
1 tsp cumin seed
1 heaped tsp crushed chillies
100g gram flour
100ml warm water
salt and pepper


Heat a tablespoon of oil in a pan and sweat the onion and pepper until the onion is translucent and the pepper is tender. They shouldn’t brown.  Leave to cool.

Place the coriander and cumin seed in a dry pan and heat over a medium heat for a minute or two until their scent is released.  Tip them into a mortar and pestle (or use a bowl and rolling-pin) and grind them finely.

Sieve the gram flour into a bowl and add the coriander, cumin and crushed chillies and stir well. Pour in the warm water and whisk until smooth.  Add freshly ground pepper and salt. Leave the batter to rest for 30 minutes.

Put the pepper and onion into the batter and mix well.  Place spoonfuls of the mixture onto a greased baking tray and bake in a preheated oven at 180°c, gas mark 4 or the Baking Oven of the Aga for about 15 minutes until golden and crunchy.

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21 thoughts on “Oven Baked Pepper and Onion Bhaji”

  1. Sounds nice with the peppers.

    That one looks like a frog – it’s even got an eye, did you do that on purpose? – if you did very well done you; I’m even more impressed.

    1. Oh yes I absolutely made it to look like a frog – good aren’t I? No I didn’t, but I did think when I took the photo that it did look like a frog and I wondered whether to turn it round as it did seem a bit unappealing, eating a whole frog (in one go). Then I thought, no, no-one else will think it looks like a frog….

  2. Fantastic idea Kath. I love onion bhajis, but don’t / can’t / won’t do deep frying. Now, I no longer need to feel deprived. Annoyingly, I was in Totnes recently, which is the only place I know to get exotic flours and was toying with the idea of getting gram flour – of course I didn’t. It’s now on my list for next time.

    VegBoxBoy does have a point – are you sure it was a meatless meal???

    1. Oh Michele, you are missing out. We often have a curry here, although admittedly it is usually out of a bought jar. We also have some fantastic indian restaurants in our area, so we are very lucky.

  3. I’ve been wondering about doing onion bhajis in the oven but didn’t think it would work very well – looks like I was wrong 🙂 Now I can’t wait to make a curry and try these. I’d cancel out the health benefits by eating about four peshwari naans though…

  4. I love these tasty finger foods a lot & it is also gluten free!

    MMMMMMMMM,..I love chickpea flour too but rarely use it at home! That’s going to change,…my friend! 🙂

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