In 2011 I was fortunate enough to cycle through Kerala in Southern India, yes you read that right, cycle. We would cover on average about 40 miles a day, while stopping to sightsee. We would also stop every 5 to 10 miles for refreshments and snacks.
I vividly remember stopping one day just below a train track. There we watched a street food trader mix onion bhajis in a huge stainless steel bowl. I remember thinking the mixture was very dry compared to what we’re used to. He then went on to deep fry the dry mixture in a huge pan filled no doubt, with coconut oil.
The bhajis were really rough in texture, not like the balls we serve in the UK, but they were amazing. I could have stayed there all day snacking.
These bhajis are very similar to those I snacked on. They’re so tasty with a nice crunch and a little chilli kick. Serve them with some mango chutney and you have a real winner.
- 150g Gram Flour (chickpea flour)
- 1 tsp salt
- Small pinch of bicarbonate of soda
- 25g ground rice (I grind rice in my blender but you can buy it already ground)
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 2 chopped fresh green chillies
- 2 large onions, cut in half and then sliced relatively thick
- 15g fresh corriander including the stalks, coarsely chopped
- 200ml water
- 1 litre sunflower oil (for deep frying)
- Mango chutney to serve
- Into a mixing bowl add the gram flour, salt, bicarbonate of soda, ground rice, fennel and cumin seeds. Mix it all together thoroughly.
- Add the onions and chillis and mix through.
- Slowly, while stiring the mixture, add the water until it forms a thick paste coating the onions and other ingredients.
- Fire up your Big Green Egg and set it to 180°C with the EGGspander basket inside sitting on top of the fire ring.
- When your Egg is stable at 180°C add the wok and pour in the oil. Leave it for 20 minutes to heat up.
- Test the oil is warm enough by adding a sliver of onion in the oil. It should sizzle when you drop it into the oil.
- Once the oil is hot enopugh, add the mixture in dessert spoon portions. Be careful when you add them to the oil that they remain seperate and that you don’t splash yourself. You’ll only be able to cook 5 or 6 at a time.
- The mixture will brown as it fries. Half way through using a slotted spoon, turn the bhajis over and cook the other side.
- Once they are cooked, remove them from the oil with your slotted spoon, allowing the majortiy of the oil to drain from them. Place them onto a plate covered in a few sheets of kitchen towel.
- Keep them warm and once they are all cooked, serve them with some mango chutney to dip into.