Friday, September 2, 2011

Onion Bhajji Recipe

    Onion bhajjis have kind of been a long-standing joke with this group I know. I can't really remember how it started, but every time we talk now they're wormed into the conversation somehow. I neither knew nor cared much what they were until this conversation... (I'll just say now that reverse psychology would work great on me. If you say I can't, I probably will.)

V: Happy birthday all the way from the third world :) Have some Onion Bhajji's to celebrate...

Me: Thanks! I still don't have any idea what onion bhajjis are. I'm ashamed.

V: And now you know.

Me: I feel so informed now. I was thinking it'd be something more... complex?

V: Bhajji is complex! Try making it once... the consistency is painful to achieve...

Me: These onion bhajjis look easy... I'M GONNA MAKE THEM. That'll learn you who's boss.

V:  I urge you to try them. when your bhajji's reach their inevitable and fiery end you shall bow in awe of me :)

    That last part didn't really happen, but I may or may not have been thinking it. It is rather undeserved in this instance though, because you know, onion bhajji is insanely simple to make!

    Notes at the end.

 Onion Bhajji
serves 4-6

1 large onion
1 1/2 c chickpea flour (roughly)
2 tbsp rice flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp coriander powder
salt to taste
100+ ml water
oil for frying

    1. Slice onion into thin strips (not superfine, not thick).
    2. Preheat oil to roughly 350 F (medium-high).
    3. While oil is heating, prepare the batter. In a bowl combine flours, spices and water* and mix until smooth. Add onion strips and toss to coat evenly.
    4. Carefully drop spoonfuls of battered onion into oil, being sure not to overcrowd the pan. Fry 1-2 minutes, or until batter becomes golden brown.
    5. Remove with a slotted spoon (or whatever!) and drain on paper towels.
    6. Serve with some salt sprinkled on top. These go well with basically any Indian fare (I like adding extra chili powder and then eating with cucumber raita) but if you haven't got any on hand, they also taste really great dipped in mustard!

    *Remember you want it to be runny, but still thick enough to stick to the onions. I ended up needing a lot more water that I have listed here, but climate and elevation and all that is going to change things for you. You want gloop!
    *I have not tried this, but consider lightly tossing the onion strips in flour before battering. Onions are slick, so it's difficult for the batter to adhere to it properly. Not needed at all to make them, but it's a thought.
    *You definitely do want to use the chickpea flour. It loses that beany weirdo flavor that I know so many of us dislike, so no worries there.

    *You don't just have to make onions with this batter! You can coat any vegetable with it and it's going to taste yum-o. I've done potatoes and squash along with the onions so far.


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