Vegan Onion Bhajis Recipe

Golden brown, light, and super crispy onion bhajis prepared from scratch! This is the perfect vegan and gluten-free snack, which is not only very easy to make but also takes only 30 minutes to make. So, let’s get started:

What is Bhaji?

A bhaji is a crispy fritter from the Indian cuisine. Different vegetables are chopped finely, and then mixed in a batter with different fragrant spices, and then deep-fried until crispy and golden brown. Their batter is flavourful, light and usually made using chickpea flour.

You can find many variations of these yummy bhajis, but the most popular ones are the onion bhajis. They can be enjoyed as snacks, appetizers, or sides with chutneys and dips.

How to Make Onion Bhajis Recipe?

  • Course: Side Dish, Snack, Appetizer
  • Cuisine: Indian
  • Calories: 350 kcal
  • Servings: 2
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes

Equipment Required

  • Mandolin
  • Probe thermometer or candy thermometer
  • Mixing bowls
  • Fridge
  • High-sided saucepan
  • Slotted or spider spoon

The Ingredients You’ll Need for Onion Bhajis

  • 1 teaspoon psyllium husk powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic masala
  • 3 tablespoon white rice flour
  • 1 pinch fresh coriander (roughly torn)
  • 100 gram flour/chickpea flour
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh chilli or chilli flakes
  • 6 teaspoon water
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2.5 tablespoon lemon juice (freshly squeezed)
  • 150 to 200 ml of plant milk
  • 300 g finely sliced onions (you can use a mandolin if you have one)
  • Vegetable oil or sunflower oil for frying

Let's Follow the Instructions

  • In a small container, mix the psyllium husk powder with the water and mix well. Put aside to allow it to thicken for five minutes.
  • In a medium-sized bowl, add the chickpea flour or gram flour, white rice flour, spices, and salt. Mix the lemon juice, the now thickened psyllium husk powder and 150 ml of the plant-based vegan milk.
  • Psyllium husk powder has a tendency to clump up, so make sure that you mix it well to prevent the formation of lumps. If this method does not work, use a blender to smooth out the mixture. The batter for the onion bhaji should be dense enough to cover the fine slices of onion, but still very thin. If your dough is too dense, incorporate more plant milk in the batter until you have the perfect texture. Once you are pleased with your onion bhajis mixture, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and put it in the refrigerator to allow it to cool for a minimum of 15 minutes.
  • While your onion bhajis batter chills in the fridge, peel the onion and chop it in half, then use the mandolin at the lowest setting and cut the onion with it very thinly. Add your finely sliced onion to the bowl containing the batter, mix it well to coat the onion slices, and put it back in the refrigerator for another 5 minutes.
  • Put a medium high-sided saucepan on medium heat and add 2 to 3 inches of sunflower oil or vegetable oil in it while the onion batter chills in the refrigerator. Use a candy thermometer or probe to get the oil to a temperature of 170 ℃ or 340 ℉. If you do not own a thermometer or a probe, measure the temperature of the oil by dropping a small quantity of batter into the saucepan – it should instantly bubble up and brown in about 30 seconds.
  • If the oil has reached the desired temperature, remove the onion bhaji batter from the refrigerator. Carefully pour a heaped dessert spoon of the mixture in the hot oil and fry it on each side for about 30 seconds or until it is a nice golden brown colour and very crisp. Using a slotted or spider spoon, remove the golden brown and hot onion bhaji and put it on a plate covered with a kitchen towel or tissue.
  • Repeat these steps until you do not have any remaining batter left.
  • Serve the freshly prepared hot onion bhajis immediately with some mango chutney or raita and some fresh coriander.

    Aren’t Onion Bhajis Always Vegan?

    It depends on the ingredients as mostly onion bhajis recipes use milk or egg, or both which renders them unfriendly for vegan people. Our recipe is truly vegan. We have used psyllium husk powder as the binder that holds the batter together. But you can use different substitutions if you have it on hand. Read below for the substitutions.

    Substitutions and Swaps

    Here are a few suggestions for substitutions and swaps for some ingredients:

    White Rice Flour

    This is what makes the difference between a crispy onion bhaji and a super crispy onion bhaji. We highly recommend that you leave this ingredient in, but if you can not find it, then swap it with plain white flour.

    Psyllium Husk Powder

    Psyllium husk powder acts as a binding agent for the batter, just like eggs, once it gets fully hydrated in the water. If you cannot find any psyllium husk, you can substitute it with ground linseed or flaxseed. Just change the measurement from teaspoon to tablespoon.

    The Spices

    When it comes to spices, you can easily let your imagination run wild. You can use your favourite spices and come up with a unique blend that you would love to use.

    Sunflower Oil

    The main thing that you need to remember is that you must use a nice and neutral oil. If you want to use vegetable or rapeseed oil in your recipe, then go ahead, but also remember that olive oil has far too much flavour. So, try to keep it simple!

    What Is the Difference Between Using Gram Flour or Chickpea Flour and Plain Flour for Onion Bhajis Recipe?

    The onions bhajis do taste a little different if you use different types of flours. Gram or chickpea flour has a nutty and earthier flavour which works perfectly when cooking dishes from Indian cuisine. It also has better liquid retaining capacity and easily transforms into a well-combined batter.

    To make up for the difference, you can add some more spices to your mixture if you use plain flour and also add a little more water to it. Even if you use plain flour to main onion bhajis they will turn out great, you will just need a little more practice.

    Leftover Onion Bhajis? How to Store and Reheat Them?

    These scrumptious onion bhajis will last for almost 3 days if stored in the refrigerator. Store them in an airtight container before placing them in the fridge. To reheat them, simply preheat your oven to 180 ℃ and place your onion bhajis for 5 to minutes or until they become warm.

    If you end up making way too many of onion bhajis and are left with a lot of leftovers, you can freeze them. All you have to do is to place them in a zip-lock freezer bag, and leave them in there for about a month. Defrost them thoroughly, and reheat them in the oven to get them crispy and ready to eat again.

    Can Vegan Onion Bhajis Be Baked?

    Yes. Just preheat your oven to 180 ℃ and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or butter paper. Pour equal proportions of onion bhajis batter on the parchment paper. Do not forget to brush it up with a little oil. Bake the onion bhajis for about 30 to 40 minutes until they turn brown and crispy, and are thoroughly cooked.

    Why Is Your Onion Bhajis Not Crispy?

    There can be four main factors behind your onion bhajis not being crispy:

    • Your onions are not uniformly slices or are sliced way too thick.
    • You have fired your onion bhajis in low heat. When you fry them in low heat, they end up absorbing a lot of oil and, as a result, they turn out soggy instead of crispy. Before you fry them, make sure that the oil is hot enough or not.
    • You have used more water than needed to prepare the onion bhajis batter.
    • There are too many onion bhajis in your saucepan, and they are crowded.

    All these above-mentioned factors can contribute to your onion bhajis not being crispy.

    Top Tips to Make Your Onion Bhajis Perfect

    • Swap the green chilli with cayenne pepper or chilli powder, if needed. Or you can omit pepper altogether if you don’t like to eat spicy food.
    • You can also use cumin seeds in place of the ground cumin, both work.
    • Add some thinly grated carrot or potato for a touch of extra flavour.
    • Use fresh oil for the recipe to get the best flavour.
    • Onion bhaji recipe is medium-spicy, but when served with some sort of yoghurt, like yoghurt-cucumber-mint raita, it tones down the heat and also works really well. This heavenly combination results in a flavour explosion as you bite into this delicious treat!

    More recipes to try: