Many years ago I used to work as Provisions Manager for a family owned chain of “Quality Grocers” (we were reprimanded if we called them a supermarket!). Saturday mornings on the rather wonderful 200 foot long deli counter were always busy and buzzing and fun (and, of course, hard work). We had lots of regular customers including one particularly sweet lady who used to visit every week. If I didn’t see her arrive I knew she was there because half my staff used to disappear as she approached the counter. They would hide anywhere they could already stifling their giggles as, regular as clockwork, she asked for two vegetable samosas and two onion budgies.
I don’t know why we found this so funny, there was absolutely no malice in the laughter, but it just tickled us all and I was the only one who could keep a straight face as I served her. So now, everytime I eat bhajis, I think of her and have a little giggle to myself.
I hope these make you smile too.
2 large Onions
3 tbsp Gram (Chickpea) Flour
1 tsp Garam Masala
½ tsp Chilli Powder
1 tbsp Mango Chutney
Vegetable oil for frying
Peel and slice the onions; aim to have longish strands of onion as it helps the bhajis to hold together better. Fry gently in a little oil until softened but not too brown. Set aside to cool.
Put the gram flour and spices into a bowl with the mango chutney and 2 or 3 tbsp cold water. Mix well until you have a very thick batter (you may need a little more water). Stir in the onions until they are completely coated in the batter.
Heat a little oil in a frying pan and drop in spoonfuls of the bhaji mix. Cook for a minute or two on each side until crisp and browned.
If you want to make these in advance cover and chill the cookedbhajis until you need them then re-heat in a hot oven before serving.
I served them with some home made mango chutney and a mango salsa.