Why not spice up your appetizers for your next party. Crispy fried Onion Bhajis with Spicy Mango Chutney make a great alternative to your normal party snacks. Take a look and see what this dish is all about!
Have you ever tried Onion Bhajis? They are an Indian appetizer or small snack and they are delicious. Made from just onions, flour and spices and then fried until crispy. They are a great! Well, I really love them. And yes, we all have our personal tastes, I know. But if you are into any kind of ethnic cuisine and love new things to try, why not make these for a change from chips and salsa.
I will be the first to admit, I didn't grow up eating any kind the ethnic foods from any part of the globe. As adventurous as I got was probably lasagna. International, right? Ethnic, probably not. If someone showed me an onion bhaji in my younger years, I wouldn't have know what it was never mind if I could eat it or not. There was no Indian food available where I grew up and I didn't get my first taste of it until I left home when I was 18. And that seems a long long time ago now.
There was no question for me, it was love at first bite. And one of the first things I tired was the Onion Bhajis. I loved them.
But it took me at least another decade (if not more) before I tired my hand at them myself. They seemed far to foreign or complex for me to make. I mean I was only just getting my head around guacamole. I know!!! Back in the 80s that wasn't really a thing either. Have you ever bought an avocado in Newfoundland. Prepare to break the bank when you do. I have heard that they are called California's golden fruit. Well in Newfoundland they must be the diamond fruit!
Anyway, eventually I did try the bhajis and they didn't quite turn out the first time around. I had a bad recipe with poor instructions, oil that was too cold and not near enough spice. But I tried again and again, and now I think they are pretty darn tasty.
You can serve them with any kind of dip, but I love Mango Chutney on the side. A bit of sweet and bit of spicy. The perfect little appetizer.
Let's take a look.
Notes about the onion bhajis:
If you are new to any kind of ethnic cooking, let me just say, follow the instructions when it comes to the spices. It is easy to think, "Oh, I will just add teaspoon more of this or that". And I know I talk quite often about winging it and making it your own, but sometimes you just got to follow the recipe.
Dry spices generally go a long way in a dish and if you use too much, it just overpowers whatever it is you are making. The end result will just takes like a bunch of dried spices and that's not a great taste. So, if you are new to this kind of cooking, follow recipes at first until you get your own grove playing with flavours and spices.
And these Onion Bhajis are so easy to make. If you follow the recipe below, you will be on your way to the perfect little bite.
Okay, I have used a spice called fenugreek in this recipe. I know, what in the world is that? I kind of pride my blog on using easy to find ingredients that we can find in our supermarket and pronounce on our tongue. But sometimes, just sometimes, I do venture outside the box. The easy to find box that is. Where I live, I have never found it. But I have some here because a friend gave me a jar a while back. However, you would find it in ethnic markets, stalls that sell spices and may in an international section of your local supermarket. And if all else fails, you don't have to use it. I made them for years without this spice, but it does add an extra flavour that I really enjoy.. You can read all about it here if it peaks your interest.
Notes about the mango chutney:
Chutneys, like jams, generally are made in advance, jarred and then served later. As they do get better with age. Like all of us, right? Ha! However, this is a no nonsense and fuss free quick chutney that you can make the day of your party and have guest chowing down in no time at all.
Just cook, remove from heat, let cool and your are ready to serve.
I did use pretty ripe mangos for this recipe which helps with the cooking time and the consistency of the chutney. If you are desperate and are using mangos that are under ripe, you can still do it. Just keep in mind, the cooking time will be longer to get them soft. Also, a good tip would be to pulse the mangos in a food processor before cooking if they are under ripe.
And for those of you wondering, yes you can use tinned mangos. It's not the best, but it will be okay. Just something to keep in mind if you want to make them but can't get your hands on fresh mangos.
I'm pretty sure that just about sums it all up for this appetizer.
Yes, it's more work than chips and salsa, but it's worth it!
Happy cooking and happy Friday!
Onion Bhajis with Spicy Mango Chutney
Makes 24 (approx) / Prep time: 30 minutes / Cook time: 1 hour (Total)
For the onion bhajis:
3 Medium sized onions, quartered and then thinly sliced
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 Cup/130 grams of flour
Salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
1 1/2 Teaspoon of ground coriander
1 Teaspoon fenugreek
1 Teaspoon garam masala
Vegetable oil for frying
For the mango chutney:
2 Ripe Mangos, peeled and cut into small pieces
1/2 Red onion, finely diced
1/4 Cup/50 grams brown sugar
5 Garlic cloves, crushed
2 inch piece of fresh ginger root, grated
3 Tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 Dried chillies, finely chopped
1/2 Teaspoon coriander
First make the mango chutney.
In a medium saucepan set over medium to low heat, combine all of the ingredients in a medium saucepan. Stir well. Bring it to a gentle simmer and stir again. Use a fork or a potato masher to break up the mango. Cover and leave it to simmer for about 30 minutes. Check it at this stage to see if it's soft and fragrant. Remove from heat and set aside.
Make the onion bhajis.
In a medium bowl add the cumin seeds, ground coriander, fenugreek, garam masala, salt and pepper to the flour. Whisk to combine and set aside.
In another bowl, whisk the eggs and add the onions. Coat well and then add in the flour and stir to combine. You will have quite a sticky consistency.
In a large skillet add enough vegetable oil to about 3 inches deep. Make sure the oil is hot before frying. To test it, add a small amount of batter to the pan, if it sizzles then the oil is ready. To fry the bhajis, drop small spoonfuls of the batter into the hot oil. Fry for about a minute and then turn them over. Continue to fry to for about another minute. They will be golden and crispy when done. Remove from pan and drain on paper towels. Repeat for the rest of the bhajis. Keep warm in a low oven.
Note: These can be made in advance and then reheated on a baking try in a moderate oven for about 10 minutes.
Serve onion bhajis with mango chutney on the side.
Click the downloadable link below to print recipe!
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