Onion Bhajis

A curry house and kebab shop classic, onion bhajis are a deliciously spicy and savoury snack or side dish.  The mix takes just a couple of minutes to prepare and the bhajis can be cooked ahead of time, ready to crisp up again in hot oil when you’re ready to eat.

Onion Bhajis
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
5 mins
Resting Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 10 mins
Course: Side Dish, Starter
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: onion bhajis, bhajis, bhaji
Servings: 1 portion
  • 1 medium-large onion (about 190g peeled weight), halved and sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic ginger paste
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kashmiri red chilli powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried fenugreek leaves (methi)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 pinch bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 small handful fresh coriander leaves finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice or lemon dressing
  • Vegetable oil for deep frying
  • 50-75 grams gram flour (chickpea flour)
  • 1 tablespoon rice flour
  • 1-2 tablespoons water
  1. Put the sliced onion, garlic ginger paste, coriander seeds, cumin powder, garam masala, red chilli powder, turmeric, dried fenugreek leaves, sea salt, fresh coriander leaves and fresh lemon juice or lemon dressing in a large bowl. Mix well and set aside for 1 hour.

  2. Heat the oil for deep frying to about 160c/320f. If you're using a deep fat fryer with a basket, remove the basket before heating the oil (the bhajis would stick to the basket).

  3. Add 50g of the gram flour and all the rice flour to the onion mixture and mix thoroughly, adding a little of the water until the mixture thickens slightly and slides slowly off a spoon (add the remaining gram flour if needed). Using two spoons, carefully add the bhaji mix to the hot oil, 1 heaped tablespoon at a time (the mix should be enough for 4-6 bhajis depending on size). Fry the bhajis for about 5 minutes, turning them occasionally until just beginning to colour. Use a slotted spoon to remove the bhajis from the oil and set aside on a plate to cool completely. At this stage the bhajis can be finished immediately, or covered and set aside in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.

  4. To finish the bhajis, heat the oil for deep frying to about 180/350f. Carefully place the bhajis in the hot oil and fry for about 2 minutes until heated through, golden and crispy. Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon, and place on a plate lined with kitchen paper to drain off excess oil.

  5. Season the bhajis with a little sea salt and serve with pink pakora sauce.

Recipe Notes

This recipe uses dried fenugreek leaves (also known as ‘methi’) which you can buy here.


If you like this Onion Bhajis recipe, you might be interested in buying my book:  The Indian Takeaway Secret  is packed full of over over 120 takeaway & fast-food recipes and is available to buy in kindle or paperback form here.

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