Snacks

Onion Bhajis

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Onion bhajis make a great snack or starter for an Indian meal. I decided to make these after going out for an Indian meal in Birmingham this week. They’re easy to make and much better than shop bought ones.

This will make about 20 bhajis

So what do you need?

  • 4-5 medium-sized onions (about 800g of onions)
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tsp. grated ginger
  • 2 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp. chilli powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
  • a sprig of curry leaves (optional)
  • a small munch of coriander
  • a lemon / lime
  • 300g gram flour
  • 150ml water
  • vegetable oil for frying

So what do you do?

Start by peeling and finely slicing the onions. I cut the onions in half and then slice them finely and then separate the pieces and put them in a large mixing bowl. Then crush the cumin seeds in a mortar a little and add them, next crush the garlic with the salt and add it. Then chop up the curry leaves and a handful of coriander and add them along with the other dry spices and mix everything together. Then add the gram flour and the bicarbonate of soda and cover the onions in the flour. Next add a squeeze of lemon juice, about a tablespoon, and add most of the water. Mix everything together. you want a thick batter that covers all the onions so be careful not to add too much water and make it sloppy so add water until you get it right.

Leave to stand while you heat up some oil in a frying pan or wok. The oil should be at least a centimeter deep. When the oil is hot use a tablespoon to spoon dollops of the onion mixture into the frying pan, making sure you leave some space between each bhaji. Fry for a minute or two until golden brown and then turn over. Once cooked on both sides drain off any excess oil and keep warm in the oven while you cook the rest of the bhajis. Serve with a pickle or chutney.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Thai Food, Veggie mains

Spaghetti pad kaprao

spaghetti

This makes a quick and easy lunch or supper made from store cupboard staples. It’s an adaption of spaghetti aglio olio to include Thai holy basil. The breadcrumbs pangrattato give extra texture to the dish and are used instead of cheese making it a great vegan option. The recipe here serves 2.

So what do you need?

  • 1 or 2 slices of bread
  • 5-6 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 150g mushrooms
  • 4-5 colves of garlic
  • 3-4 birds-eye chillies
  • 250g spaghetti
  • a small bunch of holy basil

So what do you do?

Start by putting your salted pasta water on to boil. Then make your breadcrumbs by putting the bread in a food processor and chopping them until you have relatively coarse breadcrumbs. Pour a little olive oil in a frying pan and over a medium heat toast the breadcrumbs with a pinch of salt until crisp and golden brown. Then put them to one side in a bowl. Slice up your mushrooms and peal and chop the garlic, give the chillies a bash and then heat up about 4 – 5 tbsp. of oil in the frying pan and add the mushrooms, garlic, chilli a good pinch or two of salt and a grind of black pepper. Cook on a medium heat until the garlic starts to go golden brown and the mushrooms are cooked.

Meanwhile cook your spaghetti according to instructions. While it’s cooking pluck the leaves off the holy basil so you have a good handful. Once the spaghetti is cooked drain it reserving some of the pasta water. Add the spaghetti to the frying pan with about 1/3 up of pasta water and throw in the holy basil leaves cook until the leaves wilt and the pasta is covered in the oild mixture. Divide the spaghetti into two bowls and sprinkle over the breadcrumbs.

 

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