When I’m tired I like to go back to comfort food – recipes I know and love and can make without really thinking. However, it is also fun to try little twists each time and these small steps gradually morph into new recipes. Onion bhajis are one of my go-to recipes when I want something satisfying and easy and I have already shared my recipe for them but after trying chickpea pakora I decided to bring the two ideas together. Although this recipe is similar to the baked onion bhajis, I think that the different flour mix, seasoning and the chickpeas give them a different enough taste to share it too. It shows how by just making small changes you can easily produce distinct dishes with very little effort.
Time: 20 minutes on the day, 5-10 minutes prep ahead time (15 include the chutney) – not including cooking the chickpeas
Dietary info: vegan
- 130g gram flour
- 130g wholemeal flour
- 1 heaped tbsp curry powder (I used madras)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 300ml water
- ~500g chickpeas, drained (250g dried chickpeas, cooked according to packet instructions, or 2x235g cans)
- 2 onions, diced and cooked with a bit of water until soft
- Put the onions in a non-stick frying pan or sauce pan with enough water to just cover the bottom and cook, covered until the onions are soft and the water has evaporated, adding more water if needed along the way to stop them sticking and burning.
- Mix the flours, curry powder, salt and baking powder together in a mixing bowl then gradually add the water to make a smooth batter. Adding the water bit by bit stirring to fully combine after each addition helps to avoid lumps.
- Stir the chickpeas and onions into the batter.
- Preheat the oven to 160C fan.
- Heat a non-stick frying pan and spoon out tablespoons of the chickpea/batter mix into the saucepan and leave for about 1 minute until it is just starting to set and brown on the underside then turn over to brown and set the other side for about 1 minute. Put the patties on a baking tray and repeat with the remaining chickpea/batter.
- Put the baking tray of patties in the oven and bake for 15 minute. They should be brown and firm on the outside but still soft and juicy on the inside. Be careful not to over cook them, or they will become dry and chewy.
- Serve with chutney (see below for my favourite chilli chutney) and a crunchy salad dressed with lemon juice and a pinch of salt.
A few tips to prep ahead:
- Mix together the flours, curry powder, salt and baking powder and store in a covered bowl or box.
- Cook the chickpeas and store in a covered bowl or box in the fridge.
- Cook the onions and store in a covered bowl or box in the fridge.
- Then you just have to do on the night is mix the batter together, add in the chickpeas and onions and bake.
- These patties are also very nice reheated so you can even do the baking in advance and then just warm through on the night. To reheat, wrap in foil and put in the oven at 160C for 10-15 minutes until heated through. This will stop them drying out but also prevent them getting too soggy.
- Make the chutney and keep in a sealable box in the fridge
Some tasty little twists…
I love chutnies that pack a punch – tangy and spicy – though I often have to reign in the heat for my husband as he can’t take much chilli. This is one of my favourites, with a strong yet also aromatic flavour. It is also very easy to make and keeps well in the fridge.
Chilli tomato chutney
- 1 diced onion
- 1 tbsp tomato puree
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- ½-1 tsp kashmiri chilli powder (or any other chilli powder) – depending on how hot you like it
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- Juice of ½ a lemon
- Enough water to get a good consistency
- 1 tsp salt
- Put the onion in a non-stick pan with enough water to cover and cook until it is soft.
- Add in all of the other ingredients, and heat, mixing until all combined. It should be liquid enough to stir easily but not too runny.
Twist: if you don’t like onion, replace the 2 onions in the patties with one diced aubergine, and the onion in the chutney with half a diced aubergine.