Vegetable Fritters – Bahji

Tasty vegetable fritters, Bhaji, make a great snack or light meal and are suitable for Dairy Free, Egg Free, Gluten Free and Vegan diets.



Many of you will already be familiar with this Indian snack, also known as pakora, of which there are there are many variations. Onion bhaji are perhaps the best known, at least in Britain; however, any vegetable can be used. For a light snack try cauliflower; for something more substantial (and sweeter) sweet potato and carrot.

The distinguishing feature of these fritters is the besan flour, chickpea flour, which is high in protein. This makes them nutritious – unlike, say, doughnuts, another fried snack-food. (As you may have noticed, I rarely include fried and high fat foods in my recipes; but ‘never say never’!)

Bhaji are simple to prepare and best served immediately: as a snack with chutney or a salsa; a starter with salad and lemon; or as a side with your meal. However, if you do pre-cook them, they can be reheated in a very hot oven. Alternatively, try them as a ‘ready meal’: prepare the mix and shape the bhaji; place them uncooked on a flat tray and freeze. When frozen, package them in an airtight container in the freezer until use, when they can be cooked from frozen.


Diets for which Vegetable Fritters – Bhaji are suitable:

Dairy Free, Egg Free, Gluten Free, Nut Free, Vegetarian and Vegan.

Ingredients

Preparation: 15 mins | Cook: 10 mins | Serves:20+ pieces (as a starter)

2 onions, finely sliced
1 cup vegetable oil
100 gm (1 cup) chickpea flour/besan flour
1/8 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp cumin seeds, ground
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp salt
1 sweet potato*

Green Chutney (optional)
1 cup mint leaves, finely chopped
1 cup coriander, finely chopped
1/2 green chilli, finely chopped
1/2 lemon, juiced
1tbsp olive oil

Method

COMBINE the mint, coriander, chilli, lemon juice and oil and set aside for serving with the cooked bhaji.
HEAT 1/2 tbsp of the vegetable oil and fry the onions for 5-10 minutes until golden brown.
PEEL and grate the sweet potato.
PLACE the flour in a bowl and add 100ml water to make a smooth batter.
COMBINE the cooked onions, sweet potato, chilli, cumin, turmeric and salt.
ADD the onion mix to the batter and shape into small mounds about a dessertspoon in size.
HEAT the vegetable oil in deep pan or wok to a high temperature.
FRY the bhaji in the hot oil for 2-3 minutes, until golden brown. (You will probably need to cook the bhaji in 2-3 batches.)
REMOVE and drain on kitchen paper.

Serve

– With chutney as a snack.
– As a starter with salad and lemon and yoghurt flavoured with cumin.
– A as side dish with your meal, perhaps a curry.

Notes

* Vegetables to try are carrot, cauliflower, courgette, or mashed potato flavoured with cumin.

Variations

– Add 100 gm (1 cup) feta cheese (not Dairy Free or Vegan diets) to the sweet potato mix)

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