I have loved Indian food since I was a kid, everywhere you go in the UK you can find an Indian restaurant or take out place on every street. When I moved to the states I was shocked at how difficult it was to find a restaurant that served Indian cuisine, it was basically non-existent. I remember living in Maryland and having to drive nearly an hour over the Bay Bridge and head towards Annapolis to find India’s, one of the most fabulous and sadly most expensive restaurant I have ever dined at.
Well I no longer live in Maryland and the Florida version of my favorite type of food can be a hit or a miss, so I had to adapt and learn how to make all the different dishes for myself! It took a long time but now I think I am pretty damn good at it.
I came up with this recipe last week, I searched the web for a Bhaji recipe and didn’t find anything that sounded quite right…. So I made it up, I do that a lot…. People ask me “where did you find the recipe?” I say “I wrote it down as I was making it”
So here’s we go, this is my Bhaji recipe :
What you will need : Frying pan with deep sides and cooking oil
1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
1 Tsp Cumin seeds
1/4 tsp fennel seeds
2 tsp ginger (diced)
2 curry leaves
1 large onion – thinly sliced
1/2 tsp Cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp Sooji (Semolina Flour)
1 cup Besan Flour (found in Indian Markets)
1-1/2 cups water.
Slice the onion as thin as you can, put in a bowl until later. Add all the dry ingredients and then mix in 1 cup of water, whisk the batter together, if the batter is too thick, add more water slowly, until the batter is slightly thicker than pancake batter. Pour in the onions to the batter and with your hands mix the batter and onions until all the onion is covered in the batter.
Heat the oil to around 325 degrees. Once the oil is hot enough, test the heat by adding one slice of onion, if the onion sizzles immediately then the oil is hot enough. Once again you are back to getting your hands dirty, grab a handful of the onion and batter mixture, squeeze it tightly and then slowly lower the odd looking ball of onion into the oil, it should sizzle. Continue doing this until you have a total of 4 bhaji’s in the frying pan.
Using a metal ladle, swish the bhaji’s around the pan, after a few mins you will see the they are turning a golden brown, slowly flip them over so the other side can cook. They shouldn’t take more than a few minutes on each side to cook.
Once golden, remove from oil and drain on a paper towel. Serve hot with a Mint and Cilantro Chutney.
I eat these for lunch or as an appetizer with dinner. They are basically the Indian version of Onion Rings just way better!! Enjoy xo