Onion Bhajis and Tamarind Chutney

Onion Bhaji and Tamarind Chutney

Another buffet favourite that can be made for pennies.

Onion Bhajis

8 Tablesp Gram flour (sieved)
1 Tablesp Rice flour (or SR Flour)
½ Tablesp Cumin powder
½ Tablesp Coriander powder
½ Tablsp salt
½ - 1 teasp Gram masala
¼ teasp turmeric
Chilli powder or finely chopped fresh chilli
A couple of large onions or more depending on size

Cut the onions in half and then cut a couple of times along the onion before slicing across to give thin strips about ½ inch long. Mix all the dry ingredients with water to a dropping consistency and mix in the onion. I generally cook them in my wok as I can get more in than in the fryer - cook them slowly 170°C - particularly if they are large, otherwise you'll have uncooked batter in the middle.

One word of warning, the batter will get wetter the longer it stands - the salt seems to draw liquid out of the onion, so if you are catering for large numbers, either make them in batches or have some Gram flour (and a sieve) on hand to adjust the consistency. As these are not laced with fat like the ones in the supermarket, they will dry-out inside if left for too long - the tamarind chutney soon takes care of that!

Tamarind Chutney

Just a note about tamarind: it usually comes in two forms in the UK supermarkets - either as dried seeds or pods, or as a jar of paste. The dried variety are much cheaper but need more preparation.

1 pack (200g) Dried tamarind
½ - 1 litre Water
200 - 300gm Sugar
1 Tablesp Ground roasted cumin seeds
1 Tablesp Salt (use half black salt if available)
1 teasp Chilli powder (or more!)
½ teasp Garam Masala
Plenty of finely chopped chilli (optional)

Subsequent changes to the recipe has seen the addition of 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, ½ teaspoon ground ginger and ginger which has been finely grated using a microplane grater, to taste.

Boil the water and pour it over the tamarind. Break up the block of tamarind (a potato masher is good) and keep working it to extract the seeds and paste. A quick blast in the microwave helps. Leave it to soak for at least an hour and then strain it through a strong sieve or colander. Work it well to extract all the paste from it. If it's very stubborn or thick add a little more water.

Add sugar to taste; how much you will need varies, so add it to your own taste. Now add the other ingredients and mix them in well. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

This can be used as a thick dipping sauce, or it can be thinned down until it's not much thicker than water for samosas and bhajis.

The sauce my friend John brings from the Sweet-Mart nearly blows your brains out! It's superb. This is my homage to that sauce.


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There are three comments

DanMcG

Wow Phil you’ve been pumping out some excellent looking food in the last few days. I need to quit my job so I got the time to try all these things!
the Onion Bhajis, What would/could you substitute for gram flour? i don’t ever recall seeing it on the shelves here. would gram crackers work? Or maybe to sweet?
The cheese and onion pie is on the list to try out too.
Thanks for the great ideas, now just post me some extra time!

Dan

DanMcG, (Email ) - 08-04-’11 01:21
Phil

Thanks Dan

Gram flour is made from ground chickpeas. It’s also known as chickpea flour, garbanzo flour, or besan. Asian grocers will sell it, or maybe online?

Phil, (Email ) (URL) - 08-04-’11 17:35
DanMcG

Chickpeas, LOL I feel foolish now. Thanks again for the recipes. Dan

DanMcG, - 09-04-’11 08:53

I'm somewhat incapacitated at present so replies may take some time. Please post urgent enquiries at the www.sausagemaking.org forum.

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