Spring onion bhajis with radish raita
Crisp, light and delicate, these are a far cry from the greasy, lumpy bhajis that can turn up with a dodgy take-away. Served with the minted radish raita, they make a truly summery snack or swish starter.
Prep 20mins Cook 4mins Servs 4
Make the raita first. Slice the radishes into 1–2mm discs. Place the goat’s cheese in a small bowl and mash well with a fork, then mix in the yoghurt a little at a time. The cheese doesn’t have to be blended smoothly with the yoghurt – in fact it’s nice if there are a few little lumps. Fold in the radishes and mint and season to taste. Set aside.
Finely slice the spring onions on the diagonal and set aside. Sift the flours, ground coriander, salt and cayenne into a bowl. Mix in the black onion seeds and chopped coriander, then gradually pour in the beer or water, stirring as you go, until you have a smooth, thick batter. You may not need all the liquid. Add the sliced spring onions and stir until well coated.
Pour the oil into a deep, heavy-based saucepan (or a deep-fat
fryer) to a depth of 8–10cm and place over a medium heat. The oil should be hot but not too hot, to allow the spring onions and flour to cook through without the outside of the bhajis burning. Test the temperature by dropping in a cube of white bread: it should turn crisp and golden in about a minute – no faster.
Drop heaped teaspoonfuls of the batter into the oil and cook for 3–4 minutes, until deep golden brown. Don’t overcrowd the pan; cook them in batches of 3 or 4, tops. Drain briefly on kitchen paper and then serve with the radish raita, sprinkling with a little chopped coriander if you like.
- 150g spring onions, trimmed
- 100g chickpea flour (i.e. gram or besan flour)
- 50g plain flour
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- A good pinch of cayenne pepper
- A good pinch of black onion (nigella or kalonji) seeds
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped coriander, plus extra to serve if you like
- 100–130ml beer or water
- Sunflower or groundnut oil for deep-frying
For the radish raita:
- 200g firm radishes, trimmed
- 100g fresh, soft goat’s cheese
- 300g plain yoghurt
- 2–3 teaspoons chopped mint
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
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