Monday, 23 July 2012

Onion Bhaji

I found this recipe on the Internet and think there are a few similar examples but loved it and thought I would share it with you.  I tinkered a little bit with ingredient quantities and as I have tried it a few times now, I am fairly happy with the final version.

These bhajis are supposedly healthier as they are oven baked.  I suppose they are a bit healthier than deep fried bhajis but there is still quite a bit of oil used which is important for the authentic taste.  Anyway, I didn't cook them in an attempt to be healthy but rather a way of making our home cooked curries a little more interesting.  It certainly worked as they are delicious.

To make 4 bhajis:


3 medium onions (half chopped against the grain and half the other way)
1.5 tablespoons of Gram Flour
1 tablespoon tomato puree
Ground Cumin
Ground Coriander
Chilli Powder
Ground Ginger
Ground Turmeric
Olive oil
Butter (to grease the dish)

What to do:

First you need to make the onion mixture.

Gently fry the onions in a little olive oil for 10 minutes.  Add half tsp of cumin, coriander, chilli and ginger.  Add 1 tsp of turmeric.  Continue to cook for a further 2 minutes and remove from the heat.

Next, mix the gram flour with half a tsp of cumin and half a tsp of coriander, salt and pepper.

Then, add the onion mixture to the flour, mix in the tomato puree and enough water to make the mixture wet but not sloppy so it can be shaped into a bhaji (2 or 3 tbl spoons). 

Divide the mixture into 4 and place onto a buttered oven dish with a spoon.  Flatten with the back of the spoon to make about 1 inch thick.

Bake for 25 minutes in a preheated oven (160 degrees c), brush with a little olive oil and return to the oven for a further 20 minutes or until golden brown.  Trust me - you will never buy bhajis again.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012


Its been a while, we know, but little people tend to take over lives, and what cooking we do is often something tried and tested, or a vegetable puree for little mouths, or just heating something up which we've batch-cooked previously. So in reality we have been cooking, but not so much that is interesting to write about!

However the other day, after wanting something quick and easy to snack on, I came over all Mary Berry. I felt the need to fill up the cake tins with lots of tasty home baked treats.
I went off to the library in search of some baking books. I came across The Great British Book of Baking which had so many recipes I wanted to try, I had to take it out.

The first recipe I tried was "Jumbles".
The book gives a little write up about where the recipe came from and about how the "flavourings" can be adapted to suit whatever you have in the cupboard. I chose white chocolate chunks and chopped hazelnuts.

The picture above is actually of my second attempt at these biscuits, as yes, they are supposed to be biscuits.  The recipe says to place a spoonful of the mixture onto a baking tray to cook, but either the use of a fan oven for baking is beyond me, or it is the gluten-free flour not acting as normal, or maybe even both, but they all joined together and ended up as a massive burnt offering which took a lot of perseverance with a spatula/chisel to get off the tray.
The more successful batch (pictured) was produced by adding that spoonful to the bottom of a silicone muffin tray. They did end up more cakey, than biscuity, but this is not a complaint, as they were lovely and even though only temporarily, they did provide a filling for the cake tin.

Recipe (taken from The Great British Book of Baking)

125g unsalted butter
100g caster sugar
50g light muscavado sugar
1 medium free range egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
175g plain flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
flavourings: up to 100g

Preheat oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5
Gently melt the butter in a pan large enough to take all the ingredients. Remove from the heat and stir in both the sugars. Using a fork, beat the egg with the vanilla in a small bowl until thoroughly combined, then stir into the butter and sugar. Sift the flour and baking powder into the pan and stir in. When thoroughly combined add your chosen flavourings.

Using a tablespoon, scoop the mixture on to greased baking trays, setting the biscuits well apart to allow for spreading. Bake in the preheated oven for about 10 to 12 minutes, until the jumbles are a light golden brown colour and just firm.

Remove the trays from the oven and leave to cool for 3 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Store in an airtight container.