Onion bhajis on a tray with a bowl of raita

Easy onion bhajis

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(40 ratings)

Prep: 30 mins Cook: 20 mins


Makes 12

Cook crispy onion bhajis with cooling cucumber and mint raita as a snack, or alongside a homemade Indian curry. You may be surprised how easy they are to make

Nutrition and extra info

  • Gluten-free
  • Vegetarian

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal86
  • fat5g
  • saturates1g
  • carbs7g
  • sugars2g
  • fibre1g
  • protein3g
  • salt0.3g
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  • 2 onions, finely sliced



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 100g gram flour
  • ½ tsp gluten-free baking powder
    Baking powder

    Baking powder

    bay-king pow-dah

    Baking powder is a raising agent that is commonly used in cake-making. It is made from an alkali…

  • ½ tsp chilli powder
  • ½ tsp turmeric



    Turmeric is a fragrant, bright golden-yellow root that is most commonly seen and used dried and…

  • 1 green chilli, deseeded and very finely chopped
  • vegetable oil for frying

For the raita

  • ½ cucumber
  • 150g tub Greek-style yogurt



    Yogurt is made by adding a number of types of harmless bacteria to milk, causing it to ferment.…

  • 2 tbsp chopped mint



    There are several types of mint, each with its own subtle difference in flavour and appearance.…


  1. Soak the onion in cold water while you make the base mix. Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl, then add the chilli powder, turmeric, chopped chilli and a good sprinkling of salt. Mix in about 100ml of cold water to make a thick batter – add a splash more if it feels too stiff.

  2. For the raita, peel the cucumber and grate it into a sieve set over another bowl. Mix the remaining ingredients with some seasoning and the drained cucumber – squeezing out any extra moisture with your hands – then spoon into a small serving bowl.

  3. Drain the onion well and mix it into the batter. Heat about 5cm of oil in a wok or deep pan. Do not fill the pan more than a third full. Add a tiny speck of batter. If it rises to the surface surrounded by bubbles and starts to brown, then the oil is hot enough for frying.

  4. Lower heaped tbsps of the bhaji mixture into the pan, a few at a time, and cook for a few mins, turning once, until they are evenly browned and crisp, so about 3-4 mins. Drain on kitchen paper, sprinkle with a little salt and keep warm while you cook the rest. Serve with the raita.

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Comments, questions and tips

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4th Jul, 2020
Very easy to make - turned out very well. But not nearly enough spice - simply couldn't taste it. So for later batches I doubled the turmeric, added coriander, cumin, salt and more cayenne. Very much better. But the ratio of batter to onion in the recipe is perfect as is the consistency of the batter. I made small bhajis, using a heaped teaspoon, which I dunked in water from time to time to keep the mixture slipping off nicely.
ultraviolet28's picture
29th Jun, 2020
I couldn’t believe how easy and delicious this was Definitely make them again
Jennie Ingram's picture
Jennie Ingram
19th May, 2020
If you don't think you could make onion bhajis think again. Used a deep saucepan as a deep fat fryer a tablespoon spoon to lower the mixture - and amazingly - it holds. Made several in advance and crisped them up before serving in a hot oven for 10 mins. Very tasty.- will make again.
16th May, 2020
After reading the comments also added ground coriander, ground cumin and a sprinkle of chilli flakes. Turned out beautifully! Better than an Indian restaurant!
3rd May, 2020
Rather bland.
29th Apr, 2020
Not enough flavour for our taste. I would double the spice quantities and maybe add cumin.
13th Apr, 2020
Lovely recipe, very easy to make. Really can't beat freshly made bhajis, and the rajita tastes divine!
17th Dec, 2019
Fab recipe I will be making more of these !
30th Oct, 2019
Can I freeze these?
Ephestis's picture
15th Mar, 2020
You could part fry them and then freeze them and refry them from frozen like onion rings. but I would not recommend freezing before frying if you are using baking powder. To do this you would need to omit the baking powder and add it after defrosting completely to your bhajis and cook in the same way. Another way you could freeze them is if you used fresh or dried yeast instead of baking powder, which would reactivate when defrosted as opposed to the baking powder which would be spent if added before freezing. Of course if you are using yeast, give your bhajis or fritters a little time to defrost and rise a little from the reactivation of the yeast.


Ben Sellick-Tague's picture
Ben Sellick-Tague
1st Apr, 2020
What am I doing wrong with this one? The middles of the bhajis are wet and a stint in the oven trying to dry them out hasn't helped. Have I used too much water in the mixture, are they still ok to eat? They are delicious but the texture definitely isn't right!! Thanks
Sophie Tomlins's picture
Sophie Tomlins
3rd Jan, 2019
Does it have to be gram flour? Just wondering if it’s just so they’re gluten free (as it specifies using gf baking powder). Can I use plain flour or do they only work with gram flour? Thanks!
Ephestis's picture
15th Mar, 2020
When I first made bhajis, I made that very same rookie mistake. I used plain flour instead of gram flour and it was a complete disaster. The Gram flour, as well as being an excellent binder, holds together when frying. If you are making fritters, then you could use plain or strong bread flour and make a batter with yeast (some people use carbonated water) ) I've been known to use 7up for sweet fritters or mini olive breads as this also has the right amount of sugar ration to liquid. To conclude, use gram flour for your bhajis and for gluten-free, check the baking powder which is normally glutton free anyway but more importantly check gluten content of yeast especially fresh which normally does contain gluten.
goodfoodteam's picture
6th Jan, 2019
Thanks for your question. Gram flour has an earthy, nutty flavour which works well in Indian dishes like these onion bhajis. It's also gluten-free. If you can't get hold of gram flour and gluten is not an issue then you can use plain flour as an alternative. It might require a little more liquid to get the right consistency of batter.
Gail B
18th Jul, 2018
Could you make these ahead and reheat just before serving? If so, would you use a hot oven or re-fry? Thanks!
Ephestis's picture
15th Mar, 2020
As I have commented on a question in comments, you could part fry them and then freeze them and then refry them from frozen to finish cooking. But given the ease with which these can be prepared, unless you are making a huge amount for a large party, I would recommend making them fresh on the day. You can always keep them warm for a while in a warm oven, Please see other comment with regards to freezing before frying.
goodfoodteam's picture
23rd Jul, 2018
Thanks for your question. We think these are best served fresh.
29th Jun, 2018
A lovely recipe, quick and easy to make and very tasty. I found that they keep crisper, and freeze / reheat better if 1/3 rd of the flour is replaced with rice flour (which I understand is also gluten free). These have become a family favourite and I have been asked to take large batches of them to parties, they reheat well in a hot oven for a few minutes.
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