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Recipes

Meera's Baked Spring Allium Bhajis

Meera's Baked Spring Allium Bhajis

Meera's Baked Spring Allium Bhajis

Recipe By:

 Meera Sodha’s cookbook Fresh India (adapted by Asha Loupy)

Serves: 24 Bhajis

Celebrate spring in all its green allium glory with this seasonal take on Meera Sohda’s Baked Onion Bhajis. While these crispy onion fritters are usually fried, Meera crafted a recipe that is baked to can’t-eat-just-one-perfection. And bonus, no messy, oily cleanup! Here, Meera’s recipe gets a spring makeover with copious amounts of spring onion and green garlic (Lucky enough to come across some ramps? They would be divine in this recipe). If spring onions aren’t available, leeks would work in a pinch. Or, use yellow or white onions, as the original recipe suggests.

She suggests serving it with mint chutney or beet raita. Come spring, we also love it with a super lemony radish and mint raita.

Ingredients

  •  1/2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 Indian green chile, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 4 tablespoons canola oil, plus more for greasing the pans
  • 1 3/4 pounds spring onions, whites and light greens, thinly sliced, and dark green stems thinly sliced on the bias
  • 1/4 pound (about 2 stalks) green garlic, white and light green stalks, very thinly sliced
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons chickpea flour
  • 1 1/4 cups fresh cilantro, leaves and stems, roughly chopped


Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with aluminum foil. Liberally oil the foil and set aside.
  2. Put the ginger, green chile and cumin seeds into a mortar and pestle along with a small pinch of salt and bash into a coarse paste. Set aside.
  3. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the canola oil and continue to heat for another 30 seconds. Add the thinly sliced white and light green parts of the spring onion and cook until just starting to soften, about 4–5 minutes. Add the green garlic and the remaining dark greens of the spring onion and stir to combine. Season with one teaspoon kosher salt and continue to cook until all the vegetables are soft and can easily be cut with a wooden spoon, about another 6–8 minutes. Remove from the heat and transfer the cooked allium mixture to a large mixing bowl.
  4. Add the reserved ginger, green chile and cumin paste to the onions along with the chickpea flour, cilantro, remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons of kosher salt, powdered Sannam Guntur Chilli, ground coriander, Pragati Turmeric and lemon juice. Mix thoroughly and, little by little, add up to 2 tablespoons of water, until you have a very thick batter.
  5. Take a tablespoon of the mixture and drop it onto your reserved oiled baking sheets, gently flattening it (don’t worry if the bhajis aren’t perfectly round, any little wisps of onion around the edges will get super crispy, crunchy delicious). Repeat with the remaining mixture, leaving an inch or so between each bhaji.
  6. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, until the bhajis start to crisp up and brown on top. Remove from the oven—you may need to gently lever them off the foil using a palette knife—and place on a plate alongside chutney or raita before devouring.