Our Plot Onion Bhajees
A wonderful combination of inspiration, practical instruction and sound advice, Our plot written by garden designer Cleve West is never far from my side. Whether you have an allotment or not this is a lovely book to own, packed full as it is of good writing, stunning photographs and beautiful illustrations by print artist Christine Eatwell.
Thinking of something delicious and simple to eat for supper last night, these seemed obvious. The recipe is taken directly from the book.
Ingredients For 12 -16 Bhajees
4 Medium sized onions thinly sliced
350 gm Gram Flour – chick pea flour
2 tsp Turmeric
250 ml Water
Pinch of baking powder
Salt & Pepper
4 – 6 Cloves of garlic – crushed
2.5 cm Nub of ginger – grated
Some chopped chillies to taste
Handful of chopped fresh coriander including stems
Lemon JuiceSunflower or corn oil for deep frying
Sift gram flour, turmeric and baking powder into a large mixing bowl. Add garlic, ginger, chillies, salt and pepper and mix well. Add the water little by little, stirring all the time and making sure all the gram flour is mixed without lumps. The final batter should have a consistency between pancake and cake mix. Err on the side of too thick rather than too thin. Stir in chopped coriander and squeeze in a little lemon juice. Heat the corn or sunflower oil in a wok or a karahi over a hot stone. Oil is ready when a small drop of batter sinks to the bottom and then rises after a few seconds.
At the last minute add the sliced onions to the batter and begin frying. Work quickly as the onions will release their liquid into the mix and will eventually make it too runny. Place several spoonfuls of the mix into the hot oil and let them sizzle for three minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and let them drain on a plate with kitchen paper. These are best eaten warm.
You can see from the photograph above that I shallow fried them, a childhood chip pan fire has left me with a fear of pans of boiling oil, if you want to do this just allow a longer cooking time turning half way through. Also traditionally we think of bhajees as a side dish but these are delicious and substantial enough to stand alone, we served ours with a tomato salad.
Our Plot by Cleve West is newly available in paperback here or if you’d rather order from an independent bookshop the publisher is Frances Lincoln and the ISBN is 9780711233911. A review of the book here.