and mint raita
Being fried, Lyndey Milan's onion bhajis with cucumber and mint raita pair naturally with wines displaying high natural acidity. Try Sauvignon Blanc and blends, or Vermentino for something different.
65g chickpea (gram, garbanzo or besan) flour
35g rice flour
½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground turmeric
1–2 green chillies (to taste), deseeded, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3cm ginger, grated
1 tsp lemon juice
2 large brown onions (400g), finely sliced
2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Vegetable oil for frying
½ cucumber or 1 large Lebanese cucumber
200g tub Greek-style yogurt
2 tbsp chopped mint
Recipe by Lyndey Milan
Photography by John Paul Urizar
Styling by Michaela Le Compte
Food prep by Wendy Tamplin
1. For the raita; peel the cucumber and grate it into a sieve set over another bowl. Squeeze dry and combine with yoghurt and mint. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Put
in a small serving bowl.
2. Combine dry ingredients in a bowl, then add chilli, garlic, ginger, lemon juice and coriander. Mix in approximately 100ml of cold water to make a thick batter – add a splash more if it feels too stiff. Add sliced onions and mix to coat in batter (easiest
to do with your hands).
3. Heat 5cm of oil in a wok or deep pan to 180°C. Check the temperature of the oil by dropping a bit of batter in – it should sizzle and float. Or, put the end of a wooden spoon in to check the oil bubbles up. When hot, carefully drop heaped tablespoons of the bhaji mixture into the oil, a few at a time, and cook for a 3-4 mins, turning once, until they are evenly browned and crisp. Drain on kitchen paper, sprinkle with salt to taste and keep warm while you cook the rest.
4. Serve immediately with the raita.
Lyndey’s Note: Besan or gram flour is made from chana dal or split brown chickpeas. It may need a little less water to make a batter. Chickpea or garbanzo flour is ground up white chickpeas. Bhajis can be served as finger food, or alongside a curry.
Sauvignon Blanc, or Vermentino