Saturday 23 July 2011

Onion Bhajis and Cauliflower Pakoras GF

One of my favourite Indian foods, the traditional onion bhaji recipe is made with gram flour. Gram flour, which is also known as chickpea flour, garbanzo flour and Besan, is milled from naturally gluten-free gram or Chana Dahl, a small chickpea with a fine yellow colour. Having a low GI ranking, it is a healthy alternative to some of the widely used gluten-free flours which contain a high amount of starch. It has a sweet but earthy taste and is used widely in Indian and Middle Eastern cookery.

These spicy, delicious onion bhajis make an ideal snack as well as being a perfect starter. Although they are normally deep-fried, these bhajis are cooked in the oven, reducing the fat content.

UPDATE : I have recently updated the recipe, you can find it here.

Onion Bhajis GF

2 medium onions
100g Gram Flour
100ml water
1 tsp turmeric
2 rounded tsps ground cumin
2 rounded tsps garam masala
¼ tsp chilli powder or finely chopped fresh green chilli (optional)
3 tsps dried coriander leaves or handful fresh coriander chopped
salt to taste
pinch of bicarbonate of soda
extra virgin olive oil

Set the oven to 220°C and measure out the spices.

Weigh the gram flour and pour into a bowl.

Add the spices, coriander and salt.

Chop an onion into thin strips about 2.5 cm long.

Add the water to the gram flour and spices and mix well with a fork or hand whisk. Add a pinch of bicarbonate of soda. I make my batter quite thin but it's OK to thicken it up a little by adding more gram flour or by adding less water.

Add the onions to the batter and mix with a spoon until all the onion is coated.

Pour some extra virgin olive oil on to the baking tray and heat in the oven for about 5 to 10 minutes. Put spoonfuls of the onion batter on to the tray.

Cook in the oven for 10 minutes then flip them over with a spatula and cook for another 10 minutes.

To make the Cauliflower Pakoras, use fresh cauliflower and onion instead of just onion. Of course you can also use potato cubes, broccoli, mushrooms, green pepper and courgettes. Add chopped fresh green chilli peppers and garlic to add to the flavour.

Experiment with the spice quantities to make them hotter or milder. Definitely add chilli if you like them quite hot. These are one of our favourite supper dishes and any left over can be frozen or eaten cold for lunch the following day. To reheat, set the oven to 200°C, and heat on a baking tray for 10 to 15 minutes.