Bring a little bit of Bollywood into your kitchen with these exotic vegetarian morsels. Bhajis are the Indian version of vegetable fritters, and are perfect as a colourful entrée or canapé at your next backyard soiree.
- 120 g (1 cup) superfine besan (chickpea) flour
- ½ tsp gluten-free baking powder
- 1 tsp chilli flakes
- 2 tsp curry powder
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 cm piece of ginger, finely chopped
- Celtic sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 red onion, finely chopped
- 4 tbsp extra virgin coconut oil or ghee, for frying
- 130 g (½ cup) full-fat Greek yoghurt (see Note)
- 2 tbsp chopped mint
- 1 small garlic clove, crushed
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
To make the raita, mix all the ingredients together and place in a serving bowl. Set aside.
To make the bhajis, sift the besan and baking powder into a large bowl. Add the spices, garlic and ginger and season with salt and pepper. Add 150 ml cold water to make a thick batter, then add the onion and stir until it is well coated.
Heat the coconut oil in a heavy-based frying pan over medium heat. Add a tiny bit of mixture to test the oil temperature – if it bubbles the oil is hot enough. Cooking several bhajis at a time, add a heaped tablespoon of mixture and shallow fry until golden brown on each side; I like to form a tablespoon of the mixture into a patty before frying to help keep the shape.
Transfer to a paper towel to soak up the excess oil, then cook the remaining batter.
Serve with the minted raita.
• To make the recipe vegan, replace the yoghurt with coconut yoghurt.
Recipes and images from Supercharged Food: Eat Clean, Green & Vegetarian (Murdoch Books, $35, pbk).