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  • Recipe Room  »  Onion bhaji with apple, honey and mint raita



    • 1 cup besan (chickpea) flour
    • 300 g natural yoghurt
    • 2 teaspoons garam masala
    • 2 teaspoons ground cumin, roasted
    • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
    • 1 teaspoon ajwain seeds
    • really big pinch of chilli powder
    • 1 teaspoon salt flakes
    • 4 onions, sliced into 1cm thick rings with centres pushed out
    • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
    • 2 long green chillies, chopped, seeds and all
    • 1 bunch coriander, leaves picked and chopped
    • about 1 litre flavour-neutral oil
    • mint sprigs, to garnish
    • apple, honey and mint raita, to serve*

    * See “Simon Bryant’s Vegies” for raita recipe

    Onion bhaji with apple, honey and mint raita

    I had no idea how good an onion could taste until I ate my first bhaji. This is another great snack recipe that I picked up from my time working in Indian restaurants. I love the concept of hawker food: little bits and pieces that you can grab on the street and just scoff down as you are going about your business. I am reminded of food writer Michael Pollan’s admonition, ‘It’s not food if it arrived through the window of your car.’ His words are aimed at all types of ‘fast food’, but to me it seems particularly relevant when it comes to the way we snack. With street food, you can actually see how the food is being prepared, have a chat with the cook and maybe learn a trick or two by watching them in action. It’s one thing that I would like to see more of in Australia. Ajwain seeds are a popular Indian spice, closely related to caraway and cumin. You can buy them from Indian grocers.


    Place the flour in a large bowl. Add ²⁄³ cup (160 ml) of room-temperature water and the yoghurt, and stir to form a smooth batter. Add the spices and salt. Cover with plastic film and leave the batter in a warm spot for 2 hours.

    Add the onion rings to the batter along with the lemon juice, green chilli and chopped coriander. Stir gently to mix through and coat the onion.

    Heat the oil in a wok or heavy-based saucepan over medium heat until just shimmering (about 180°C). Working in batches (about five at a time), pull the coated onion rings out of the batter, shaking them gently to remove excess batter. Carefully slip the onion rings into the hot oil and fry, turning occasionally with a slotted spoon or tongs, until the batter is deep brown and the onion has cooked through, about 5 minutes. Remove the bhajis with a slotted spoon and leave them to drain on paper towel. Repeat with the remaining onion rings.

    Serve the onion bhajis immediately with Apple, honey and mint raita alongside for dipping. Garnish with mint sprigs, if you like.

    Serves 6 as a starter.

    This recipe was provided to Foodwise from the book “Simon Bryant’s Vegies” by Simon Bryant with photography by Alan Benson, published by Lantern rrp $39.99

    Submitted by
    Simon Bryant

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