I love onion bhaji and veg pakora. I’ll usually always order those at Indian restaurants. The upside is they’re all kinds of fantastic. The downside: they’re deep fried. Now sure, I’m not eating out all the time for this to be a problem, but these are dishes I really want to make at home and at home, I won’t be a-deep fryin’. What to do?
Well, since my Philips Air Fryer arrived I’ve been thinking of trying bjahi and pakora recipes. Except I’ve been slack and mostly been using the air fryer for potato and sweet potato chips (fries). So a coupla days ago I gave myself a stern talking to and turned to YouTube for an onion bhaji video that looked good.
My friends. May I present you with what is probably the best cooking instructional video I’ve seen in a very long time:
You just gotta watch it. DO IT DO IT.
So I followed the batter recipe to the letter but I used one large red onion and a big chunk of finely sliced cauliflower florets as I didn’t want to use up all my onions. I even left out salt as no salt is mentioned in the the recipe but my first batch was in desperate need of salt so I added some to the remaining batter.
The batter was so thick that I was able to put the bhaji balls straight in to the air fryer basket, with nothing lining it. After ten minutes at 180C I turned the bhaji over:
I really had no idea how long to put them in for so I made it twenty minutes. They were cooked through but the cooked batter was still kinda thick, however this is how some deep fried bhaji I’ve eaten have turned out. Next time I’ll throw in a little baking powder or something. My bhaji at Magic Mint in Moonee Ponds was, I believe, quite lighter and fluffier and not as dense. I’d like to be able to make lighter, fluffier bhaji. Bad photo:
Not containing any oil, my bhaji were quite dry but the flavours were nice. My second batch stuck to the fryer basket a bit, but I’ll take that any day over deep frying and having to stand and watch the stuff cooking.
This is a recipe that I want to change up a bit so the kids will eat it. Which means no obvious bits of veg whatsoever so perhaps some finely diced veggies will do the trick.
If I’d been more organised I would have made a tamarind dipping sauce as these definitely need something like that. I’ll also take more care making them look a little nicer but this was just an experiment.
I recommend trying the recipe in the video 🙂