Looking for quick and easy snacks? These Onion Bhaji are feather light and so more-ish – you had better make quite a few. Heat from the chilli, the beautiful citrusy warmth of the coriander seed and the chickpea flour coating make these a great go-to accompaniment to a strong cuppa Indian tea either morning or afternoon on a cool day.
This is a treasure of Bengal, north of India. The original recipe comes from Christine Mannfield in her collection of Indian recipes Tasting India. I adapted it a little. The beauty of this recipe is that the onions are not coated in a batter, but the chickpea flour is worked into the onions, using its own moisture, to form a delicious crispy light coating.
Have a look at this other style of Onion Bhaji and these Vegetable Bhaji. Or try this Greek-Indian Tomato Pakoras. Other Onion dishes you could try include Confit d’Oignon (Onion Jam), Onion Salad with Sesame Oil, and South Indian Onion Strings Slightly Pickled Salad.
Browse all of our Bhaji/Pakoras here, or have a look at our Indian Snacks. All of our Onion recipes are here, and Indian dishes are here. Or you might like to explore all of our easy Mid Autumn dishes.
Red Onion and Green Chilli Bhajji
3 red onions, cut into halves and then sliced
1.5 tspns cracked coriander seed
2 small or 1 large green chilli, finely chopped (or to taste)
0.5 tspn salt
200g chickpea flour
vegetable oil of ghee for deep frying
Combine the onions, coriander seed, chillies and salt in a bowl. Using your fingers, knead the onions to bring their juice to the surface.
Sprinkle over the chickpea flour and add 2 Tblspns water. Continue to knead. If the mixture is too dry add a little more water, 0.5 Tblspn at a time. You are aiming for the flour to coat the onions but not to form a batter. It has been described as like mayonnaise coats cabbage, not a batter that drowns the onion.
Heat the oil in a kadhai, wok or heavy pan. When it is ready, loosely drop tablespoons of the onion mixture into the oil. Fry the bhajis just a few at a time until golden and crisp, about 2 mins. Drain on kitchen paper towel and serve immediately sprinkled with salt and black pepper with a mint yoghurt chutney.
recipe notes and alternatives
Make the Mint Yoghurt Chutney by stirring shredded mint, salt and pepper into yoghurt. It makes a wonderful dipping sauce.
Add o.5 tspn eno or baking powder to the mix with the chickpea flour, for extra lightness.