The BBC Good Food logo
Rainbow bhajis with coriander cream

Rainbow bhajis with coriander cream

A star rating of 5 out of 5.3 ratingsRate
Magazine subscription – your first 5 issues for only £5!
  • Preparation and cooking time
    • Prep:
    • Cook:
  • More effort
  • Serves 6 - 8

A colourful starter or party snack, these bhajis pack a subtle spice. Serve with cooling coriander cream and zesty lime wedges

  • Vegetarian
Nutrition: per serving


  • 140g carrot , grated
  • 2 tsp nigella seeds
  • 100g parsnip , peeled into shavings with a potato peeler
  • 2 tbsp desiccated coconut
  • small pack coriander , stalks only, finely chopped (use the leaves below)
  • 140g beetroot , half grated, half cut into fine matchsticks
  • 2 tsp grated ginger
  • 1l sunflower oil , for frying
  • lemon wedges, to serve
  • lime wedges, to serve

For the batter

  • 4 tbsp balti paste
  • 250g gram flour (or plain flour)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • ¼ tsp hot chilli powder
  • 2 medium onions , thinly sliced

For the coriander cream

  • 350g coconut yogurt (I used Coyo)
  • small pack coriander , leaves picked
  • zest and juice 2 limes


  • STEP 1

    To make the batter, stir the balti paste into 250ml 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.

  • STEP 2

    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.

  • STEP 3

    Make the coriander cream 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, then keep cold until serving.

  • STEP 4

    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.

  • STEP 5

    Serve the hot bhajis with the coriander cream, and lemon and lime wedges for squeezing over.


Widely used in savoury Indian dishes, gram flour (also known as besan or chickpea flour) is a fine yellow gluten-free flour made from ground chickpeas. Find it in the supermarket world food aisle or in your local health food shop. 

Recipe from Good Food magazine, January 2016

Goes well with


Comments, questions and tips

Rate this recipe

What is your star rating out of 5?

Choose the type of message you'd like to post

Choose the type of message you'd like to post

Overall rating

A star rating of 5 out of 5.3 ratings

Sponsored content