In this article I will show you how I make an absolutely delicious healthy BAKED alternative to the traditional deep fried onion bhaji. I don’t want to confuse you off the bat, but the word bhaji actually means fritter. Fritter (in the foodie sense) means fried batter – so strictly speaking I am not making bhajis at all haha, I am in fact making a baked chickpea flour and onion slice. I am using very similar ingredients to the deep fried version so it feels much more playful to keep the name onion bhaji.
Think of this as this recipe as the super healthy option for anyone who prefers not to soak food in oodles of unhealthy fat. Not only is it healthy, you’ll be happy to know that it’s de-e-e-licious!
I am rather happy to say that this baked onion bhaji slice holds together to perfection. They serve hot as a starter with mango chutney or other dips. These slices also serve cold, which makes them an excellent lunch box snack or accompaniment to salads.
You’ll be pleased to hear that these baked bhaji slices will also keep for a couple (perhaps several) of days in the fridge. If you want that gorgeous purple effect then use red onions. If you don’t have red onions, use any onions or even leeks for similar deliciousness.
What flour do we use for these Baked Onion Bhajis? Chickpea or gram flour…
I am using chickpea flour. This is the flour traditionally used for the likes of bhajis and pakoras in Indian and Pakistani cuisine. Chickpea flour is also used for French soccer bread and Italian farinata.
Chickpea flour is made from finely ground dried chickpeas (garbanzo beans). It is also called gram flour or besan flour, which you will realise depending on who you speak to and which brand is labelling the item. Strictly speaking, these flours are supposed to use a slightly different chickpea, gram or lentil. It’s actually confusing, so to simplify things for the purpose of this recipe then all you need to know is that chickpea flour, gram flour and besan are pretty much interchangeable.
What spices am I using for these Baked Onion Bhajis?
Garam masala and fresh ginger…
I am using garam masala, which is available to buy in a supermarket of health shop. Garam masala is basically a aromatic blend of warming, but not hot, spices. It seems that spice combinations vary from region to region or brand to brand, which means you never quite know what you are gonna get. So if you have a favourite blend then use that, otherwise simple see what is available and go for what feels right. You can also substitute for a mild curry powder blend if you prefer.
Fresh ginger makes an appearance in this recipe. I like to add it because it gives a nice balance to the flavour whilst bringing in the health benefits of a fresh spice that is high in antioxidants.
- 4 medium sized red onions
- 150g chickpea flour
- 1 heaped teaspoon fresh ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 heaped tablespoon onion powder
- 2 teaspoons garam masala powder
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley
- 100ml water
- Sautee the onion in a little oil for a few minutes.
- Weigh the chickpea flour and put in a mixing bowl.
- Peel and finely grate the ginger and add along with all the other dried ingredients to the mixing bowl.
- Add the onion.
- Add the water and then mix together thoroughly.
- Put in a parchment paper lined baking dish or tin (I am using one that is 8 inch diameter - round).
- Bake at 200C (400F) for about 20 minutes.
- Slice immediately and enjoy hot or slice and enjoy cold later or over the next two or three days.
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If you like this recipe then I am sure you’ll LOVE my Baked Pakora Recipe. Check it out here…