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.