by THE WEEKEND COOK with Maggie Cooper
ONIONS are such a vital ingredient in so many savoury dishes that it's hard to know what we'd do without them. Strangely, white onions have largely disappeared from supermarkets.
I prefer them to the stronger-flavoured brown onion, and often the purple Spanish onion is a little too sweet.
But the big, feisty brown onion is perfect for today's recipe.
Onion bhaji are tasty little fritters.
You can make them as spicy as you like; just add more or less cayenne.
The fresh chillies can be omitted also, or try just using the green chilli as they are usually not as fiery.
Chickpea flour, or besan, is a tasty staple often used in Indian recipes and has the advantage of being suitable for those on a gluten-free diet.
It is widely available in health food shops and Asian grocers, or the health-food aisle at some supermarkets.
INGREDIENTS: 100g chickpea flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp each turmeric, ground coriander seeds and ground cumin seeds
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
pinch of salt
1 large brown onion, peeled and thinly sliced
4 tbs finely chopped coriander leaves
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
1 each small green and red chilli, seeds and membranes discarded, finely chopped
ice water, to mix
peanut oil for frying
1/2 cup mango chutney or 1/2 cup plain yogurt mixed with 2 tbs finely chopped mint, to serve
METHOD: Sift together dry ingredients into a large bowl.
Add onion slices, coriander leaves, garlic and chillies and mix until combined.
Gradually add enough ice water to the mixture to form a thick batter.
Be careful to not add too much. Heat oil in a deep fryer to 180C.
Carefully drop spoonfuls of the onion mixture into the hot oil and cook until golden.
Drain on paper towels and keep warm while you continue cooking.
Serve hot with chutney or yogurt and mint on the side.
Contact Maggie at firstname.lastname@example.org