These are a step forward from the deep-fried favourites: they are healthier, more pleasant to cook, and just as tasty. I like to serve these with a fresh coriander or mango chutney, or beetroot raita.
- ginger 3cm, peeled and roughly chopped
- green finger chilli 1, chopped
- cumin seeds 2 tsp
- brown onions 1kg
- rapeseed oil 4 tbsp
- chickpea (gram) flour 180g
- fresh coriander 40g, roughly chopped
- red chilli powder ½ tsp
- ground coriander 1 tsp
- ground turmeric ½ tsp
- lemon juice 1 tbsp
Preheat the oven to 180C/gas mark 4 and line two baking trays with lightly oiled foil. Put the ginger, green chilli and cumin seeds into a pestle and mortar along with a small pinch of salt, bash to a coarse paste and leave to one side.
- Peel and halve the onions, then slice them into ½cm half-moon shapes. Put the oil into a large frying pan over a medium heat and, when hot, add the onions. Fry for around 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they’re translucent and just soft enough to cut with a wooden spoon.
- Put the onions into a bowl and add the ginger, green chilli and cumin paste, along with the chickpea flour, fresh coriander, red chilli powder, ground coriander, turmeric, lemon juice and 1½ teaspoons of salt. Mix thoroughly and, little by little, add up to 30ml of water, until you have a very thick batter.
- Take a tablespoon of the mixture and drop it on to a tray. Repeat with the rest of the mix, leaving a couple of centimetres between each bhaji.
- Bake for 25-35 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 some chutney before devouring.