Baked Onion Bhajis (pyaz ke pakore)

Learn how to make delicious onion bhajis at home with Meera Sodha's easy recipe. This recipe bakes the bhajis, rather than frying them, making them a healthier alternative to the traditional.

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These are a step forward from the deep-fried favourites: they are healthier, more pleasant to cook, and just as tasty. I like to serve these with a fresh coriander or mango chutney, or beetroot raita.

Makes 24


3cm ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
1 green finger chilli, chopped
2 tsp cumin seeds
1kg brown onions
4 tbsp rapeseed oil
180g chickpea (gram) flour
40g fresh coriander, roughly chopped
½ tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp ground coriander
½ tsp ground turmeric
1 tbsp lemon juice


Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4 and line two baking trays with lightly oiled foil. Put the ginger, green chilli and cumin seeds into a pestle and mortar along with a small pinch of salt, bash to a coarse paste and leave to one side.

Peel and halve the onions, then slice them into 0.5cm half-moon shapes. Put the oil into a large frying pan over a medium heat and, when hot, add the onions. Fry for around 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they’re translucent and just soft enough to cut with a wooden spoon.

Put the onions into a bowl and add the ginger, green chilli and cumin paste, along with the chickpea flour, fresh coriander, chilli powder, ground coriander, turmeric, lemon juice and 11⁄2 teaspoons of salt. Mix thoroughly and, little by little, add up to 30ml of water, until you have a very thick batter.

Take a tablespoon of the mixture and drop it on to a tray. Repeat with the rest of the mix, leaving a couple of centimetres between each bhaji.

Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, until the bhajis start to crisp up and brown on top. Remove from the oven – you may need to gently lever them off the foil using a palette knife – and place on a plate alongside some chutney before devouring.

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