- • vegetable oil, for frying – you won’t need more than 1 quart
- • 2 carrots
- • 1 large red onion
- • 1¼-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled
- • good handful spinach leaves, roughly chopped
- • 1 red chile, finely chopped
- • 2 tbsp roughly chopped fresh cilantro
- • 1 tsp cumin seeds
- • 1 tsp ground turmeric
- • 1 tsp garam masala
- • juice of 1 lemon
- • good pinch of sea salt
- • ¾ cup gram (chickpea) flour (see My Secret, right)
- Pour vegetable oil into a large, deep-lipped skillet so that it comes 2 inches up the sides. Gently heat it while you prepare the bhajia mixture. Alternatively, heat a deep-fat fryer to 350° F.
- Grate the carrots, onion and ginger using a cheese grater. Transfer them to a large bowl and add the rest of the ingredients. Scrunch the mixture together with your hands to release the moisture from the veggies and help it bind together. If you need to, add a few tablespoons of water—you want it to be a dropping consistency. Shape the mixture into balls of around a tablespoon each before flattening them a little, which allows them to cook all the way through so that they don’t end up with a doughy centre.
- Add a little of the mixture to the oil to test if it’s hot enough: it should sink and then swim. Deep-fry the bhajias, in batches if you need to, for about 5 minutes until they are golden brown. You will need to flip them a few times to get an even colour. Drain on paper towels.
- Serve hot with mango chutney or your favourite dip.
Anjali Pathak draws on the food she ate growing up — her grandparents founded the Patak’s line of curry, sauces and spices — and her culinary training in London for her second cookbook, The Indian Family Kitchen. It features easy-tofollow recipes for classic Indian dishes, as well as modern creations that use the rich spices and aromas of India in exciting and unexpected ways. — Chris Daniels
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