I’m turning to another staple of the UK Indian restaurant for this canape/appetiser. We consume vast quantities of Bhaji in the UK but did you know that we’ve been spelling them wrong. The closest snack that they resemble is the bajji from the South West of India or the pakoda/pakora (still with me??) from the North where apparently it is eaten during monsoon so what better way to cheer you up in the drizzly autumn and winter here.
These Bhajias are less dense than you will generally find in UK restaurants, being higher in vegetables and lower in batter. This makes them a little more fiddly to fry but nicer to eat. They also contain mainly kale, rather than just onion for added interest.
Serves: 4 as a starter or 12 canapé
5 a day: 1 per serving
Time: 30-45 minutes
- 300g kale such as cavolo Nero, de-ribbed and finely shredded
- 150g shredded white onion
- 15g coriander, finely chopped
- 1 green birds eye chilli, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp cornflour
- 3 tbsp chickpea flour
- 2 tsp ground coriander
- 1/4 tsp tumeric
- 1 tsp peeled and grated ginger
- Oil for deep frying
- 180g plain yogurt (coconut yogurt if vegan)
- 2 inches of cucumber, grated
Heat your oil to 160C
If you are going to be serving the bahjias immediately make the yogurt dipping sauce by combining the yogurt with grated cucumber and season. However, if you will be reheating the bahjias, make it whilst they are reheating. This will stop the cucumber juice leaking in to the yogurt.
Add all the ingredients to a mixing bowl except the oil and combine thoroughly with your hands squeezing as you go to release a little water to form a batter with the flours.
When you start to be able to form a shape which hold together give your hands a wash and grab a tablespoon. Gently lower a tablespoon of the mix in to the oil. Fry for 3-4 minutes until starting to golden. Remove from the oil and drain on kitchen roll. If you mix has fallen apart a little you might need to firm the mix a little more before you add it to the oil or turn the oil down slightly.
Repeat in small batches until all your bahjias are cooked.
You can serve immediately or cover, leave to cook and refridgerate until needed, warming for 12 minutes in an oven heated to 180C.
Serve with the yoghurt.