Onion bhajis are delicious fritter-style snacks originally from India

Onion bhajis are great for gatherings. Just prepare the dough in advance and fry up these bite-size portions when guests arrive. They are best served with spicy sweet-and-sour sauce, like my spicy red pepper sauce.


  • 6 onions (1 1⁄2 lb), minced
  • 1 cup chickpea flour
  • 1⁄2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 6 tablespoons water
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Black pepper, to taste


  • 1⁄2 cup cane sugar
  • 1⁄2 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • Vegetable oil, for frying


  1. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients.
  2. Let the batter rest for 1 hour in the fridge.
  3. For the spicy red pepper sauce, in a saucepan, combine the sugar, water, rice vinegar, tomato paste, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch with the water.
  5. Add the cornstarch mixture to the saucepan and stir to combine.
  6. Bring to a boil while stirring constantly. Keep cooking for 1 minute.
  7. Remove from the heat and set aside at room temperature.
  8. To serve, in a large pot or deep-fryer, add enough oil to cover the bhajis and heat the oil to 350°F.
  9. Drop 1 spoonful of the bhaji mixture into the oil at a time, making sure the bhajis are not touching each other or overcrowded.
  10. Fry the bhajis in batches for 2 to 3 minutes, then turn them and keep cooking for 2 minutes more or until golden brown.
  11. Serve with the spicy red pepper sauce.

Serves 4 | Prep Time: 20 min | Cook Time: 12 min | Rest Time: 1 hour


The Buddhist Chef’s Vegan Comfort CookingExcerpted from The Buddhist Chef’s Vegan Comfort Cooking. Copyright © 2021 Jean-Philippe Cyr. Photography © 2021 Samuel Joubert and Dominique Lafond. Published by Appetite by Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.