Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Grain Free Bhaji Bites GF SCD

Bowl of grain free bhajis

I'm a huge fan of Indian food and I particularly adore onion bhajis. My favourite vegetarian Indian restaurant is Prashad's near Bradford and their bhajis are absolutely wonderful. After I created my almond and butternut squash bites, I wondered if I could create a bhaji spiced version of them and these are the result. Flavoured with cumin, coriander, turmeric, garam masala and red chilli these little flavour packed bites truly are awesome!

I actually made two versions, one with spinach and one without because the first time I started to cook them I realised I'd forgotten to buy the spinach! The picture below shows the bites made without the spinach.

Grain Free Vegetable Bhajis without spinach on baking tray

Adding in the spinach makes the mixture a little wetter and may take a little longer to cook. I much prefer the taste of them with spinach and left overnight in the fridge, they make a perfect lunch or snack. This grain free alternative is so much healthier than the traditional deep fried bhaji AND they are suitable for followers of the SCD!

Vegetable Bhajis in a bowl

Grain Free Bhaji Bites GF SCD

125 g organic almonds
275 - 300 g butternut squash (about a quarter of a medium one)
large handful of washed spinach
2 medium onions
2 cloves of garlic crushed
½ red chilli
1 rounded tsp cumin seeds
1 rounded tsp ground coriander
1 rounded tsp garam masala (click link for SCD friendly blend)
2 tsps dried coriander leaves
¼ tsp turmeric
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
extra virgin olive oil

Set the oven to 180° C (fan/convection oven). Slice the onions and dice the butternut squash. Finely chop the red chilli. Gently heat about a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil in a frying pan then add the onion, garlic, chilli, butternut squash and crushed garlic. Sprinkle in the cumin seeds, ground coriander, garam masala and turmeric and stir well.

Vegetables and spices in a deep frying pan

Cook on a medium light for a few minutes until the onion becomes translucent, stirring regularly then turn down the light to low and cook, preferably covered, until the butternut squash is soft giving the vegetables a stir now and again. This takes about 10 to 15 minutes.

Cooked vegetables in the pan

Take off the heat and allow to cool for about 5 minutes. Grind the almonds in a food processor until fine but not quite as fine as almond flour. Tip in the cooked vegetables and season well with freshly ground sea salt and black pepper. Sprinkle in the dried coriander leaves, add the spinach and process well.

Process the almonds and cooked vegetables in a food processor

Shape the mixture with your hands into about a dozen balls (I always seem to make 11 though) and place on an oiled baking sheet.

Uncooked bhajis bites on a baking tray

 Cook in the oven for about 25 to 30 minutes until they start to brown.

Close up of a grain free bhaji bite