Deep Fried Onion Bhajis

This recipe serves six
  • An electric deep-fat fryer containing vegetable or groundnut oil, and heated to 180c. Or a wok filled to around one-third about l ltr (1.75 pt) of oil and heated over a fairly high flame - a 2.5cm cube of bread should take just over a minute to brown when the oil is at the right temperature;
  • Six plates lined with paper serviettes, doilies or napkins
  • Six small serving bowls for the yoghurt.

For the bhajis

  • 1 75g (6oz) gram or besan (chickpea) flour
  • 60g (2/40z) rice flour
  • l tbsp toasted sesame seeds (optional)
  • l tbsp poppy seeds (optional)
  • 1/2 level tsp hot chilli powder (or cayenne pepper)
  • 1/2 level tsp turmeric
  • 1 rounded tsp ground coriander
  • 1 rounded tsp fine sea salt
  • About 200ml (7f I oz) cold water
  • 2 large mild onions, peeled, halved and finely sliced
  • Preheat the oven to 130c for keeping the bhajis warm

For the yoghurt dip

  • About 275m1 (lOfI oz) plain, thick yoghurt
  • Small handful fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
  • Medium handful fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp hot chilli sauce, or more to taste (optional)
  • Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • Mix all the yoghurt ingredients in a bowl and season to taste.
  • Divide among six small serving bowls. Leave to one side.
  • For the bhajis, mix all the dry ingredients together thoroughly in a large bowl.
  • Pour in most, but not all, of the water, and stir thoroughly.
  • The batter should be very thick but just pourable, so add a little more water, if necessary.
  • Now tip in the onions and, again, stir thoroughly until they are completely coated with batter.
  • To cook, drop tangerine-sized spoonfuls of the mixture into the hot oil.
  • After about 3-4 minutes the bhajis should be crisp and golden brown all over - you might need to turn them halfway through.
  • Take them out with a pair of tongs and drain them well on a pad of kitchen paper.

Published, 02 March 2003
Last updated 23 December 2006 23:00