Using my well researched Vegan Onion Bhaji Recipe, you will learn how to make these cheeky little Indian snacks which will make a great side dish to your homemade curry.
These fantastic little Indian snacks are very easy to make with not too many ingredients, which is great if you are making this at home for your family or friends.
Whether you are making these snacks for an accompaniment to your homemade curry, serving them as a quick snack or served on a bed of lettuce leaves and raita for a quick lunch, my simple recipe will guide you through how to make them using ingredients that you probably already have in your kitchen cupboard.
My recipe does use gram flour which unless you already do some Indian Cuisine food menu cooking you may not have, however, you can easily find this flour either in your local supermarket or your local World food store. You could use plain flour instead but Chickpea flour has a better nutrient profile than plain flour, as it provides more vitamins, minerals, fibre, and protein but fewer calories and carbs and acts similarly during cooking.
I have always wanted to make my own Vegan Tasty Onion Bhaji Recipe and I think I have done it! You will always find this dish on every Indian cuisine food menu! My recipe is probably more delicious and probably more healthy than the takeaway version especially if you use the air fryer to cook them. Either way, I do prefer the full-fat way of deep-frying them and they do taste more authentic this way.
Serve these with my Chicken Tikka Masala Curry as part of your homemade curry night or on a salad for lunch or as a tasty afternoon snack.
Onion Bhaji Recipe Vegan
Serves: 4, you can make them as big as you want but I prefer to make golf ball sized ones!
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cooking Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 20 mins
Ingredients for Vegan Onion Bhaji Recipe
130 g Gram flour, also known as chickpea flour
4 tbsps. natural yoghurt or coconut yoghurt (For the Vegan Version)
1½ tsp garlic, grated or finely crushed
1½ tsp ginger, finely grated
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp hot chilli powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
12 fresh curry leaves
4 tbsps. fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped
1 large onion, halved and finely sliced or grated if you prefer
Olive oil or sunflower oil or vegetable oil, canola oil, to deep fry, you decide!
Instructions for Vegan Onion Bhaji Recipe
Place the gram flour in a bowl and add 4 tablespoons of water and then add the yoghurt and whisk together to create a thick batter paste.
Add the garlic, ginger, cumin seeds, chilli powder, turmeric, curry leaves, and chopped coriander and mix well and then add salt to taste.
Now fold the onion slices into the batter and make sure they are well coated.
Set a wok or deep pan for deep-frying over medium heat and pour in the oil. Test it is hot enough by dropping in a small piece of batter – it should sizzle immediately and rise to the top.
You could also use a deep fat fryer and set the temperature at 180°C. Alternatively, you can cook your onion bhajis in an air fryer, for a slightly healthier alternative.
Working quickly and wetting your fingers, take small pinches of onions and making sure they are well coated in the batter, about a tablespoon of the mixture, drop three or four into the hot oil. Some will form spidery clusters, others may separate into individual slices.
Cook the bhajis for about 20-30 seconds before turning with a slotted spoon. Continue cooking for about 1 minute, turning occasionally, until they are a golden colour. Remove and drain in a colander or plate with a kitchen towel.
Wet your fingers, then pick up another pinch of battered onions and repeat the process.
You can keep them hot and crispy by placing them in a warm oven until you are ready to serve.
Serve them hot with mango chutney as a starter or side dish to your homemade curry, or on a bed of salad for your lunch. That’s it. Really quick and really easy! Happy nibbling!
I hope you enjoy my Vegan Onion Bhaji Recipe and so please comment below and share my recipe with others.
The History of the Onion Bhaji
The origin of the onion bhaji is a little obscure, with both India and Nepal laying claims for its invention. In those countries it is eaten as simple street food, essentially a type of pakora which somewhere along the way has had delusions of grandeur and purloined the name “bhaji” in order to stand out from the rest.
We do know that the Bhaji is an Indian dish popularly known as ‘pakora’. It is also known as ‘bhajia’ in typical Indian language. Bhaji recipes are quite popular in Indian cuisine as a version of vegetable fritters well-admired in international cuisines. There is also a dish made of stir-fried vegetables and spices known as ‘bhaaji’. This dish is eaten with Indian bread called ‘pav’ and in combination, it is referred to as ‘pav bhaaji’.
The crispiness of bhajiya is the main feature of this dish and people of all ethnicities in India make this dish with little variations. Bhaji recipes are quite common as Indian street food and comfort food for people on the go.
It’s for nibbles like this that we Indians created ‘bhajia’ – the collective term for a deep-fried, crispy snack. You may also know them as ‘bhajis’ or ‘pakoras’. All part of the same family.
In India, these moreish delights are sold on the street. Piping hot and drizzled over with chutneys of all sorts. They are cheap and fast. A winning combination. In my father’s town in Gujarat, there are some bhajia sellers with queues of people waiting to satisfy their craving.
Some of the best bhajia in India are sold on station platforms and indeed on the train itself. As soon as the train pulls into a mainline station, hordes of ‘bhajia-wallah’ will mount with their various flavours closely followed by the tea vendor or ‘chai-wallah’. It is truly the best part of the experience and the Ahmedabad station stop on the overnight route from Mumbai to Rajkot is one I would thoroughly recommend – but only visit the chap who sets himself up near where the second class sleep carriage pulls up. The others are average, oily and cold.
Not even in India, bhaji is commonly served in the UK as well due to the huge Indian community existing in the country. Onion bhaji, spinach bhajia and potato bhajia are the popular recipes prepared in Indian as well as international cuisine.
The Bhaji or bhajiya is normally prepared in South Indian as well as North Indian meals. In Hyderabad, the dish is famous as ‘pakodi’. Pav bhaji is a very popular dish originated from the Gujarati cuisine. Even many other stir-fried vegetable dishes are also called ‘bhaji’ such as sai bhaji, cauliflower and doodhi bhaji. All these recipes are popular in different parts of India.
The most common ingredient used in making bhaji is the onion. Onion can either be used in chopped form or in sliced form. Chopped potato, green chillies, coriander leaves and dry spices are the other ingredients that can be combined with onion to make this dish. The most vital component is gram flour that is used as a binder for all these ingredients. In a few recipes, wheat flour is also incorporated.
Among the dry spices, red chili powder, cumin, turmeric, garam masala and salt are commonly used. Groundnut refined oil, sunflower oil or mustard oil are typically used for frying bhaji. It is said that mustard oil totally enhances the taste of dish.
As far as the stir-fried vegetable is concerned, various vegetables such as mashed potato, peas, carrot and cauliflower are included. The large quantity of tomatoes is inculcated to complement the dish. Dry spices along with lots of butter are added to enhance the flavor. Other recipes are prepared with chopped green vegetables.
Methods of Preparation of Bhajis
The bhaji (vegetable fritters) are prepared with the deep-frying method. All the ingredients are mixed in a gram flour batter and small portions of batter are deep-fried in ‘kadhai’ (a utensil typically used for the frying purpose).
Stir-frying is the method used to prepare various other recipes. Vegetables are stir-fried in butter or oil and cooked on low heat to make a semi-dry dish. Water is added to the vegetables in order to give a thick coating.
Serving and Eating of Bhajis
Deep-fried bhaji or bhajiya is served as a snack in Indian cuisine. The popular accompaniments of this snack are the green chutney, tomato chutney, mango chutney or any kind of pickle. Mango chutney and bhajiya is the best combination.
Stir-fried vegetable dish is served with Indian bread that can be either ‘pav’ (somewhat like a burger) or parantha (Indian pan-fried bread).
Health Facts Related to Bhaji Recipes
Bhaji contains various kind of vegetables that are full of nutrients but the deep-frying method is not really good for health, hence this dish should be consumed in moderation. The stir-fried dish is usually considered healthy if prepared in refined oil instead of butter.