I remember eating onion bhajis at my grandma’s house as a snack when I was growing up. She couldn’t fry them fast enough for my sisters and I. These are a bit naughty as they are fried, but so satisfying.
Bhajis and pakoras are the Indian version of tempura. There is no real difference between them; in the south of India they are commonly called Bhajis and in the north they are known as pakoras. As with all Indian dishes everyone has their unique way of making these. I hope you like mine…
I saw these chillies at a local farmers market in Munich and had to buy them. I thought they would be a perfect addition to the traditional onion bhaji. You can use normal chillies or just onion if you prefer. I like to cut both the onions and chillies into rings and mix them together when frying.
Bhajis are so versatile! This batter goes well with so many vegetables. They make a great starter or snack. Getting the art of frying can be a bit tricky at first. You should place the batter covered rings into the hot oil individually for the best results.
Eat them immediately as the bhajis don’t stay crispy for long. Alternatively, you can preheat your oven to 100°C and place the cooked bhajis on a baking sheet to keep warm while you cook the complete batch.
These onion and chilli bhajis are delicious with my coriander and yoghurt dip. In terms of spice, the Bhajis are mild but with the dip it gives them the kick they need in my opinion.
Please leave me a comment and rate this recipe if you like it, I want to know if you love spice as much as I do! Share your pictures on Instagram with #prettyvegetarian.
Chilli and Onion Bhajis
Yield 4 people
Bhajis and pakoras are the Indian version of tempura. They make a great starter or snack. These onion and chilli bhajis are delicious with my coriander and yoghurt dip.
For the Batter:
- 175g besan/ chickpea/ gram flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons of red chilli powder
- 200-250ml lukewarm water
For the filling:
- 2 medium onions, ½ cm rings
- 1 anaheim chillies, ½ cm rings
- Sunflower oil, fill pan 10-15cm deep
- Mix the flour, salt, black pepper and chilli powder into a bowl.
- Slowly add 200-250ml of warm water. Whisk together until it is smooth and runny. Taste and add salt and chilli powder as needed and then set aside.
- Slice the onions and chillies into thin rings. You want the rings to be about ½ cm thick. Mix them together, the onion may fall apart but that is OK.
- Heat the sunflower oil in a large pan over a high heat. It’s best to use an old pan for frying. The oil should be 10-15cm deep. To make sure the oil is hot enough, put a few drops of batter into the oil. The oil is ready when the batter rises to the surface.
- Prepare a colander with kitchen paper. You will place the bhajis here when you remove them from the oil.
- Place a handful of the chilli and onion rings into the batter and mix so they are completely covered.
- Carefully place the battered rings in the oil, it is best to place them into the oil one at a time. This will keep them fully coated. Cook for 3-5 minutes, turning them over every 30 seconds until they are golden brown and crisp.
- Remove from the oil into the colander. Serve immediately or place in a preheated oven of 100°C.
- Serve with coriander and yoghurt dip.
- Can be made with only onion or chillies.
Courses Starter & Sides
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value
Total Fat 35 g
Saturated Fat 3 g
Unsaturated Fat 30 g
Sodium 885 mg
Total Carbohydrates 34 g
Dietary Fiber 7 g
Sugars 8 g
Protein 11 g
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.