Date: February 2019
Transform root vegetables into something special by making them into bhajis. Anyone who likes spice cookery will probably have most of the ingredients in their store cupboard. The batter has the onions in and then you can split it up and make your different flavours just by adding your vegetables. Give them a go. Enjoy!
70g carrot, grated
1 tsp nigella seeds
50g parsnip, peeled into shavings with a potato peeler
1 tbsp desiccated coconut
½ small pack coriander, stalks only, finely chopped (use the leaves below)
70g beetroot, half grated, half cut into fine matchsticks
1 tsp grated ginger
sunflower oil, for frying
lemon/lime wedges, to serve
2 tbsp balti paste
150g gram flour/chickpea flour (or plain flour)
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp cumin seeds
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground coriander
½ tsp garam masala
1/8 tsp hot chilli powder
1 large onions, thinly sliced
150g coconut yogurt
½ small pack coriander, leaves picked
zest and juice 1 lime
To make the batter, stir the balti paste into 125 ml cold water. Mix the flour, baking powder and spices in a mixing bowl, make a well in the centre, then pour in the balti water and gradually stir together to a smooth batter. Stir in the onions, then divide between 3 bowls.
Stir the carrot and nigella seeds into one batch of batter, the parsnip, coconut and chopped coriander stalks into another, and the beetroot and ginger into the third.
Make the coriander dip by whizzing half the coconut yogurt with the coriander leaves and lime juice until well blitzed and green. Stir through the lime zest and remaining yogurt, season with salt, pepper and a pinch of sugar then keep cold until serving.
Heat the oil in a deep pan or a non-stick wok to 180C or until a piece of bread browns in 20 secs. Starting with the parsnip and ending with the beetroot, add spoonfuls of the mixture to the oil, a few at a time, and cook for a few mins, turning occasionally until evenly browned and crispy – about 4 mins. Lift out onto kitchen paper with a slotted spoon, sprinkle with a little salt and keep warm in a low oven while you cook the rest.
Serve the hot bhajis with the coriander dip, and lemon and lime wedges for squeezing over.
by Judy Barden
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