Curry Night #02 River Cottage Everyday Spring Onion Bhajis

I have never been a massive fan of onion bhajis as I find them quite greasy or stodgy, but someone recommended me this recipe, and I had to try it. The spring onions add a certain freshness to the flavour you don't normally get with normal onions, and the batter comes out nice, light and crispy. 
150g spring onions, trimmed
100g chickpea flour (i.e.gram or besan flour)
50g plain flour
½ tsp ground coriander
½ tsp fine sea salt
A good pinch of cayenne pepper
A good pinch of black onion (nigella or kalonji) seeds
3 tbsp finely chopped coriander, plus extra to serve if you like
100-130ml beer or water (We used beer)
Sunflower or groundnut oil for deep-frying
Finely slice the spring onions on the diagonal and set aside. Sift the flours, ground coriander, salt and cayenne into a bowl. Mix in the black onion seeds and chopped coriander, then gradually pour in the beer or water, stirring as you go, until you have a smooth, thick batter. You may not need all the liquid. Add the sliced spring onions and stir until well coated.

Pour the oil into a deep, heavy-based saucepan (or a deep-fat fryer) to a depth of 8-10cm and place over a medium heat. The oil should be hot but not too hot, to allow the spring onions and flour to cook through without the outside of the bhajis burning. Test the temperature by dropping in a cube of white bread: it should turn crisp and golden in about a minute - no faster.
 Drop heaped teaspoonfuls of the batter into the oil and cook for 3-4 minutes, until deep golden brown. Don’t overcrowd the pan; cook them in batches of 3 or 4, tops. Drain briefly on kitchen paper and then serve with the radish raita, sprinkling with a little chopped coriander if you like.
They come out a little funny shapes, as I cut the onions into long strips to make a less heavy mixture, but they were great. The freshness works really well with other curry flavours and really adds to a dish. The batter was easy to make, and they cook really quickly in the fryer. A great addition to my Curry Night recipes!


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