Anglo Indian Chef Onion Bhaji/Pakora Mix
If there's one accompaniment to British Indian Restaurant Curries that's top of the popularity stakes, it has to be the onion bhaji - yet many chefs, even in restaurants, make poor examples of these classic Indian savouries.
Onion bhajis can take different forms, partly dependent on whether they are deep or shallow fried. At worst deep fried bhajis can be solid and heavy with a barely cooked interior, and the shallow fried variety can be solid rounds of onion with a thin layer of batter on the outside!
I've experienced both in restaurants around the country, and rarely are they the delights they should be. At best bhajis should be light and crunchy almost all the way through, and this can be achieved - whether deep or shallow frying - if the batter is blended correctly from the correct ingredients, to the right consistency, with the correct amount of onion, and cooked for the right amount of time at the right temperature. Our Onion Bhaji mix is designed to enable you to make proper light and tasty bhajis!
Many deli-bought bhajis contain ingredients that don't add to the eating experience but make something that preserves well and perhaps has a longer shelf life. This is perhaps desirable from the supplier and retailer's point of view, but not so good for the customer. We believe that simplest is best, and our recipe includes nothing that doesn't enhance the bhaji's flavour - and of course you can add your own twist with things such as cumin, fennel or ajwan seeds, or extra chilli and coriander if desired.
Anglo Indian Chef Onion Bhaji/Pakora Mix has been formulated to enable anyone to quickly and easily make classically tasty, crisp and light bhajis, just like my mum's. They should have a fairly open structure so that the cooking oil can penetrate almost to the centre. The result is a light crispy texture that melts in the mouth and is well cooked all the way through.
- Our tub contains 300g of mix composed of Gram flour, Rice flour, Garam masala, Turmeric, Mint leaves, Chilli powder and Methi leaves.
- The only ingredients you need to add are sliced Onion, Water, Lemon juice and Salt.
- You can deep fry the bhajis (for best results) or shallow fry them. Full cooking instructions are on the side of the tub.
- You can make about 36 chicken-egg size bhajis using 100g of the mix combined with about 100ml of water (sufficient to make a consistency like double cream) and 2-300g of sliced onions.
- Cooking time is about 5-6 minutes, depending on your cooker.
The batter should be loose enough to lightly coat the onion, leaving spaces for the cooking oil to penetrate. Don't make it a thick dough or you will have heavy stodgy lumps of bhaji, not light, melt-in-the-mouth delights!
Ideally bhajis should be served warm, fresh from the pan. Properly made bhajis will retain their crispiness for a good while and be almost as delicious cold as when hot. They can be served with a curry or as a starter, often accompanied by a mint and yogurt dip.
Pakoras are simply fried, batter-coated vegetables, such as florets of cauliflower or broccoli or slices of aubergine, parsnip or potato, cooked in the same batter as a bhaji and served sprinkled with a little salt. As with onion bhajis, deep frying tends to produce a better result.
Pakoras don't keep long, and they should and consumed within a few hours of being made.