Oven Baked Spicy Onion Bhaji
Onion Bhaji make an easy, crunchy nibble that’s perfect for happy hour, teatime, or after school munchies. When they’re oven baked, as these are, they’re also pretty darn good for you!
I have a confession to make. I am seriously addicted to Indian snacks. Whether it’s namkeen, pakoras, samosas, or tikkis, I love them all. Most of these snacks contain healthy ingredients — chickpea or gram flour, spices, vegetables, and nuts. However, they’re also fried.
Although frying doesn’t have to be unhealthy, all too often it is. Moreover, the mess and stress of deep frying is enough to discourage anyone from making them on an average day. Who has time for the guilt, not mention the hassle?
So, I’ve been keen to find a solution. Onion bhaji (a.k.a. pakoras) cannot be fried in an air fryer, as they would inevitably stick to the grate. However, they can be baked in the oven with surprisingly tasty results.
Moving bhaji from the stove (and the hot oil) into the oven means they become a viable option for easy entertaining. They also make a darn good afternoon snack! Whenever you wish to serve this tasty nibble, making them in the oven is an easy win.
What Do I Serve Bhaji With?
If you’re used to eating bhaji in Indian restaurants, you’ll be accustomed to receiving your order with two chutneys — a tamarind chutney (sonth chutney or khajur imli are common) and a mint chutney. These are both easy enough to make (or to purchase).
However, if you’re family is not accustomed to eating spicy food, you may prefer a cooling yoghurt sauce. Simply whip up a bit of yogurt with salt, black pepper, and a bit of ground cumin for a quick, easy accompaniment.
Finally, if none of these sauces appeal to you, you could always use tomato ketchup instead. There are many high-quality Indian ketchups on the market to choose from. Else, you can use your favourite pantry ketchup.
|Fresh, Spicy Mint Chutney|
About This Recipe
This recipe is incredibly simple. There are only a few tricks to getting it right, and creating delicious onion bhaji for your friends and family.
Slicing the Onions
It is very important to slice the onions evenly because you want them all to cook though at the same rate. I find that a mandolin or a food processor, fitted with the slicing blade, are the best tools for this task. (They also enable you to slice the onions without tearing up — which is a big plus!) However, if you’ve got great knife skills and prefer to slice them by hand, go for it! Just be sure to slice the onions as thinly and evenly as possible.
Grinding Chilies, Ginger, & Whole Spices
In the recipe, I recommend using a high-speed blender for this task. However, an immersion blender with a small chopping attachment, a mini food processor, or a mortar and pestle all work equally well. The essential thing is to grind the chilies and the ginger thoroughly. The spices should be roughly ground, retaining some of their original shape. Personally, I like to toss the oil in with the chilies and ginger to help them to grind into a smooth paste before adding the whole spices.
Other than that, this recipe is as easy as 1-2-3. I hope that you and your family enjoy these tasty onion bhaji every bit as much as mine does. Bon appétit!