Crisp onion bhajis with caper berry chutney

Crisp onion bhajis with caper berry chutney

Anjum's Indian Vegetarian Feast
Emma Lee

A much-loved snack or appetiser. I find myself returning to them even though there are newer recipes to choose from. They are crisp and delicious and best served hot in batches as soon as they are done. I have paired them with this lovely caper berry chutney. I absolutely love capers and they are particularly fabulous here. If you don’t have any capers, you can add a little more lemon juice to the chutney instead.


Quantity Ingredient
vegetable oil, to deep-fry
2 red onions, finely sliced
4 tablespoons coriander leaves, chopped
salt, to taste
1/2-3/4 teaspoon chilli powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon garam masala
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons dried mango powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
100g gram flour
2 garlic cloves, peeled and grated
15g root ginger, grated, (peeled weight)
1/3 teaspoon carom seeds


  1. Heat 5 cm of vegetable oil in a small saucepan.
  2. Meanwhile, mix everything else together with your hands, squeezing the onions enough to allow their juices to come out and soften the gram flour. Form the mixture into small walnut-sized balls.
  3. Check that the oil is ready by dropping in a little of the batter; it should start sizzling straight away. Add the balls to the hot oil in two batches. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for seven to eight minutes, turning, or until deep golden brown all over. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. Serve piping hot with the chutney, while you cook the next batch.

Caper berry chutney

  • Blend 30 g of coriander leaves and stalks with 20 g of mint leaves, 1–2 green chillies, deseeded, 25 g of pistachios, 2 teaspoons of lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of water and 2 tablespoons of small caper berries.

    Adjust the seasoning. Stir in 1 tablespoon of capers. Adjust the lemon, water and salt to taste (though you probably won't need salt) and serve, or refrigerate for up to a few days. Makes 150 ml.
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