Mini Shallot Bhajis with Minted Yogurt

Spicy and crispy, these little bite-sized bhajis are great for a party or as part of an Indian feast.  Try out other Indian food recipes to make your spread.  You can easily adapt this recipe for vegans by using coconut yogurt.

Mini Shallot Bhajis with Minted Yogurt

Makes about 16 bite-sized bhajis


For the bhajis:

400g shallots, thinly sliced
1 tsp salt
175g gram flour (chickpea flour)
1 long red chilli, finely sliced
1 tbsp nigella (black onion seeds)
1/2 tsp turmeric
200ml cold water

Vegetable oil, for deep frying

For the minted yogurt:

200g yoghurt (coconut yoghurt if vegan)
4 sprigs mint, leaves picked and chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
salt and freshly ground black pepper


1. Put the shallots in a mixing bowl and sprinkle over the salt, stirring well to mix.  Set aside for a few minutes to allow the salt to slightly soften the shallots.

2. Make the dip by adding mint, garlic and salt & pepper to the yogurt in a small bowl.  Stir well to mix, then set aside.

3. Add the gram flour, chilli, nigella seeds and turmeric to the shallots, stirring well to combine.

4. Stir through just enough water to bring the mixture together forming a thick batter around the shallots.  Set aside to rest whilst you heat up the oil.

5. Pour enough vegetable oil into a large deep saucepan to form a 4-5cm layer.

6. Turn on the heat and bring the oil up to 180°C, using a meat or jam thermometer to measure the temperature.  If you don’t have a thermometer, drop in a little slice of the shallot - it should sizzle instantly.  Alternatively, you can cook in a deep fat fryer, setting the dial to 180°C.

7. When the oil is hot enough, use a heaped teaspoon to scoop up some bhaji mix, then use another teaspoon to slide the mixture directly into the oil, working with care so the oil doesn’t splash.

8. Repeat until you have up to 6 bhajis, then fry for 3-4 minutes until crisp and golden, carefully flipping over with a palate knife halfway through cooking.

9. Scoop the bhajis out with a slotted spoon, then drain on kitchen paper whilst you repeat with the rest of the mixture.

10. As soon as all the bhajis are cooked, serve with the bowl of minted yogurt.

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