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Why I Love This Recipe
FEATURING: Onions (or fresh onions) and cilantro (optional).
Another delectable recipe adapted from Madhur Jaffrey (our favourite Indian Chef) that tastes just like the restaurant (or even better). It is easier than it looks! For a truly authentic taste, add a bit of black salt (aka. Himalayan black salt or rock salt) on top just before serving - you can find it in most Indian grocery stores. Serve onion bhaji as an appetizer with Indian food.
See the original recipe here: http://scrumpdillyicious.blogspot.com/2014/10/madhur-jaffreys-onion-bhajias.html
Ingredients You'll Need
1 cup gram flour, also known as chickpea flour (you can find it at most health food stores and Indian grocery stores. Otherwise, you can try wholewheat flour, though it won't be gluten-free)
4 tbsp plain yogurt (we use plain soy or coconut yogurt but regular yogurt works as it is what the original recipe calls for)
1 1/2 tsp garlic (or garlic scape), finely chopped
1 1/2 tsp ginger, finely grated
3/4 tsp cumin seeds, crushed
3/4 tsp hot chilli powder (or 1/2 tsp hot chilli pepper flakes or 1/4 teaspoon finely chopped jalapeño)
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
12 fresh curry leaves, shredded (optional - I always leave it out)
4 tbsp cilantro leaves, finely chopped (optional)
1 tsp salt
1 large onion (or fresh onion bulb), halved and finely sliced
Vegetable oil, to deep fry
A bit of black salt (aka Himalayan black salt or rock salt or kala namak), for garnish (optional)
SAUCE OPTION #1: TAMARIND DIPPING SAUCE
1/4 package of tamarind pulp
1 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp of chili powder
1/3 cup of water
SAUCE OPTION #2: JIM'S CILANTRO DIPPING SAUCE
1 small bunch of cilantro
3-4 jalapeno, deseeded and chopped finely (you can use less if you like a less spicy sauce... or none at all)
Juice of 1-2 lemons (approx. 4-8 Tbsp of lemon juice), or to taste
SAUCE OPTION #1 - Tamarind sauce (optional): Soak the tamarind pulp with hot water until soft and squishy. Squeeze as much of the pulp out and discard the seeds sacs. Mix everything together and keep in the fridge until ready to use.
SAUCE OPTION #2- Cilantro sauce (optional): Mix all ingredient in a blender. Blend until you get a nice dipping sauce.
MAKE THE DOUGH: Place the gram flour in a large bowl and add 4 tablespoons of water. Add the yogurt and beat together to create a thick paste. Add the garlic, ginger, cumin seeds, chilli powder (or pepper flakes or jalapeño), garam masala, turmeric, curry leaves (if using, I usually don't) and chopped cilantro. Mix well and add salt to taste. Fold the onion slices into the batter, making sure they are well coated.
Set a wok or deep pan over a medium heat and pour in about 1-inch of oil for deep frying. Test that the oil hot enough by dropping in a small piece of batter — if it sizzles immediately, it's ready.
Once you get the onion bhaji mixture into a nice workable paste, they should hold their shape if you scoop them up with a spoon. Working quickly, take ping-pong ball clusters of onions and making sure they are well coated in the batter, drop three or four into the hot oil. Some will form spidery clusters, others may separate into individual slices. Cook the bhajias for 20-30 seconds before turning with a slotted spoon. Continue cooking for about another minute, turning occasionally, until they are crisp and golden. Remove and drain the excess oil to keep the bhaji crispy for longer periods of time. Garnish with cilantro and serve hot with the Tamarind Dipping Sauce or Cilantro Dipping Sauce (optional). We also like to sprinkle a bit of rock salt on top of the onion bhaji just before serving (optional).