Since first tasting Indian food many, many years back I have always loved onion bhajis and over the last few years gone a bit more experimental with making my own – we all adore my aubergine bhaji’s and they are a regular make in our house but sometimes its nice to try something new and I’d had a packet of beetroot in the fridge lurking in the hope of a sunnier today but as the weather has been so utterly vile this winter, salad has not been on the menu and I found myself looking for alternative uses..
These really were made up essentially as I went along and a nod towards the aubergine ones I make, and despite making a separate batch of red onion bhajis for beetroot hating dad – he actually ending up enjoying the beetroot ones! You can make them gluten free by using an alternative flour to the plain flour - I've used Dove's farm in the past with excellent results.
The beetroot is earthy and sweet but given a lift with the aromatic mint and spices and the crispy batter makes them rather moreish! You have been warned! Bhaji’s are very easy to make, and you can re-heat them in a warm oven so are handy to make ahead of your meal. They are also very cheap to make and are a great, easy little starter or a side to your dinner!
Makes about 18 bhaji's depending on your spoon size!
260g diced cooked beetroot
½ red onion, diced
1 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp yellow mustard seeds
1 tsp dried mint
150g gram flour
50g plain flour
250ml ice cold water
Sunflower oil for frying
Dice the beetoot and onion into 1/2cm cubes, place in a bowl with all the spices and toss together.
Seperately sieve the flours together, and mix in the water to form a batter, whisk well and mix in the vegetables.
Heat 1 inch of sunflower oil in a deep saucepan (or deep fat fryer) and once a little drop of batter browns within 30 seconds, place spoonfuls of the mixture carefully into the hot oil. Ideally wear an apron as they can spit! Fry them for about 3 minutes, then gently flip over for a further 2-3 minutes or until bubbling and the batter has cooked through. Use a heatproof spoon to occasionally spoon the hot oil over the bhajis to help cook through but very carefully - it will be very hot!
If the oil starts getting too hot and the mixture is burning then turn down the temperature a little. Place the cooked bhaji's onto kitchen paper and repeat with the remaining mixture.
Serve with raita to dunk into.
I have sent my recipe over to the 'Inspired Fakeaway's #Recipe of The Week' post held at A Mummy Too this week:
And over to Elizabeth's Kitchen Diary 'No Waste Food Challenge' held by London Unattached this month - as the Beetroot literally had one day left on the sell by date when I used it! What a waste if I had not made the bhaji's!