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Onion Bhajis

January 22, 2013

Onion Bhaji Recipe

Onion bhajis are the perfect accompaniment for many an Indian dish – meat-based curries benefit particularly from their presence as they provide a tasty, vegetarian contrast. Most people insist on purchasing sub-par bhajis from their local supermarket – I know not why – despite the fact they are exceedingly simple and quick to make – as the recipe below attests. Let’s hope that the almost seductive, golden-brown hue of these unassuming, spicy Indian snacks weans the general public off their mass-produced supply and onto something a little more choice. Excuses shall be ignored.

Onion Bhaji Recipe

So perfectly brisk are these bhajis that they have developed the curious habit of leaping from my (gorgeous) skillet with peculiar regularity – perhaps once or twice per week. Indeed, not only are they ideal for simultaneous consumption with all manner of Indian feast, they have a tendency to work jolly well as a meal all of their own. Every facet of this frugal recipe is bulging with flavour – from the gram flour to the spices – so much so that one could even spend lunch alone with a few and emerge satisfied. However, serve them with yoghurt/raita and pita and you’ll soon be leaping from your bath ejaculating (no sniggering) eurekas here, there and, perhaps, everywhere.

Onion Bhajis {recipe}

Makes 10-12


• 1 white onion, finely sliced

• 1 red onion, finely sliced

• 2 cloves of garlic, mashed

• 1 thumb of ginger, finely chopped

• ½ tsp turmeric

• ½ tsp garam masala

• 1 tsp chilli flakes

• 1 tsp ground cumin

• 100g gram flour

• 60-80ml water

• Sunflower or vegetable oil

• Salt


1. Slice the onions and put them in a large mixing bowl, separate each individual slice. Add all of the spices, garlic, ginger, gram flour and salt and mix it around a little. Add 1 tbsp of sunflower oil and 60ml of water. Mix it all together and add a little more water if the mixture isn’t loose enough – the batter should adequately coat the onion.

Onion Bhaji Recipe

2. Heat 4-5 tbsp of sunflower oil in a thick based pan over a medium heat. Once at temperature, take a little of the mixture and place it into the oil. Fry until golden brown on each side, allow enough time to cook through. Soak up any excess oil with kitchen roll.

Onion Bhaji Recipe

Cost: Everything about onion bhajis is frugal; onions and gram flour are exceedingly cheap. Indeed, the entire batch, enough for 3-4 people, should set one back no more than 80p!


54 Comments leave one →
  1. January 22, 2013 5:07 pm

    Reblogged this on traktorista74 and commented:
    Cool dish! And so easy to make

  2. January 22, 2013 5:14 pm

    Those look good. I’ve had mixed bhaji curries and omelettes but never these onion snacks. Good idea.

  3. Anne Bonney permalink
    January 22, 2013 5:18 pm

    This recipe is definitely a must-try!

  4. January 22, 2013 5:26 pm

    Looks fantastic, Nick! And nice visual imagine of onion bhajis leaping biweekly out of your skillet 🙂

  5. January 22, 2013 5:30 pm

    These look so much crispier and full of flavour than the store bought ones. Will definitely try next time I make a curry.

  6. January 22, 2013 5:45 pm

    These look so very delicious!

  7. January 22, 2013 5:53 pm

    These look better than most of the versions I’ve had in UK Indian restaurants. Another one of yours on my recipes-to-try list….

  8. January 22, 2013 6:36 pm

    I have never heard of these – but they look quite tasty! I want them to hop out of my skillet 1-2 times per week too!

  9. January 22, 2013 6:39 pm

    Snap! I have a bhaji recipe scheduled to go up as well. Yours look delicious, Nick! 🙂

  10. January 22, 2013 6:40 pm

    just stunning and perfect for an onion lover like me! c

  11. January 22, 2013 6:42 pm

    Again you triumph monseigneur Frugal (or should that be Frugal Saab to keep it in context with today’s post? 😉 ). The very first ethnic wading pool that a new vegetarian/vegan usually tentitively dips their toes into tends to be Indian thanks to the plethora of veggie rich recipes that this delicious spicy cuisine delivers and the humble bhaji is just such a delicacy. Homemade it can be downright luxurious. You can make it with just about any vegetable folks…onion is just one of the tastiest varieties and there is something scrumptious about those long thin strips of onion taking on other forms and becoming crispy batter covered deliciousness and when dipped into something cooling it’s the fixin’s for all manner of occasions and can be dressed up accordingly. Cheers for another wonderful post and one that is completely translatable into our hot summer conditions…frypan cooking is easy peasy when the heat of the day is still ruminating about in the kitchen long after the sun goes down (although our sun is going down at 9.30pm at the moment…a little late for an evening meal methinks! 😉 ). A plate full of these little beauties with a gorgeous fresh salad from the garden… Heaven! 🙂

    • January 27, 2013 9:03 pm

      Haha – thanks! I have tried lots of ethnic food, but find myself coming frequently back to Indian! I shall be doing more varieties, never you fear! Your life sounds heavenly. I want the sun to go down after 5pm please!

  12. January 22, 2013 6:43 pm

    I wouldn’t mind to have these for dinner tonight…

  13. January 22, 2013 9:28 pm

    I want to make these for dinner tonight! Would it be ok if I used chickpea flour instead of gram flour? Looks so delicious

  14. January 22, 2013 9:40 pm

    With a salad and some homemade mango chutney these make a meal in themselves.

  15. January 23, 2013 7:14 am

    Well, I never thought to make my own, assuming a deep-fat fryer was a requirement. And since I have never seen an onion bhaji in Germany, I shall have to try! Thanks! 😀

  16. January 23, 2013 10:08 am

    These look really nice and crispy! Don’t like the ones that are a bit doughy in the middle but these look perfect!

  17. January 23, 2013 4:30 pm

    These fritters look amazing!

  18. January 24, 2013 3:46 am

    Yum! Must make some of these.

  19. January 24, 2013 6:15 am

    I’m certain I could get into the habit of making these at least once per week.. such wonderful treats!!

  20. January 24, 2013 6:40 am

    Very nice!

  21. January 24, 2013 4:04 pm

    Gorgeous! I love that you use two kinds of onion.

  22. January 25, 2013 1:47 pm

    Ooh those look gorgeously crispy and greasy (in a good way) – I want to reach into the screen and pull one out!

    • January 27, 2013 8:56 pm

      They were just that, Loaf! I’m afraid we haven’t developed that technology yet!

  23. January 27, 2013 6:40 pm

    This is our go-to lunch when pretty well all we have in the house is, well, onions… But we’ve been casting around for the perfect recipe. We tried this one today – and it looks like this is it! Delicious w some home-made mango chutney and (fusion cuisine!) don-don noodles. Thanks!

  24. January 28, 2013 9:00 pm

    I got hooked on onion bhajis when I was studying in the UK, but only recently did I start to see them on the occasional menu in America. And since few Americans have any idea what they are, and therefore don’t order them, they’re usually not great. But making my own… good idea!

  25. January 29, 2013 10:48 pm

    Wow. Another frugal food education. I love the look of these Nick, I could see how one could quickly get addicted and want to make them all the time!

  26. February 6, 2013 3:34 pm

    If they’re able to leap out of your skillet, they ought to be able enough to leap out of mine. 🙂 Crispy, tasty looking way to prepare onions — thanks!

  27. February 17, 2013 1:32 am

    Those look great and easy to make.

  28. February 19, 2013 6:15 pm

    Ohmygod… I have plans to try to make this paleo-friendly! They look amazing!


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