As it's National Curry Week I thought why not try a bit of a different style of dish to celebrate with which combines my love of burgers with my favourite accompaniment to a curry - the delicious onion bhaji. As a vegetarian, it's nice to see more and more quirky dishes becoming available on restaurant menus including; a whole host of different veggie burgers in many burger restaurants however, in not many have I seen an onion bhaji burger and boy would they be a welcome addition to the menu as you can pack them full of flavour and texture, just as I tried to do with this recipe. Into my soft, pillowy brioche bun I housed a crunchy, lightly spiced onion bhaji topped with oodles of sweet mango chutney which sat on a bed of refreshing mint and cucumber raita; punchy bombay potatoes and a sprinkling of crisp rocket leaves - well it's always worth attempting to get a bit of a healthy, nutrient rich ingredient in there somewhere but, something about the doughy burger bun, deep fried bhaji and creamy yoghurt raita tells me that there is no shortage of calories in this recipe. Nevermind though, a little bit of what you fancy does you good as my Nana always used to say so with that in mind, if you do fancy giving these onion bhaji burgers a go then please do; please enjoy; please indulge in onion bhaji burger heaven and please let me know what you think!
Makes 4 utterly moreish bhaji burgers and without too much faffing about, that's what we like to hear!
For the Onion Bhajis:
2 medium red onions
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
100g gram flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. curry paste or powder (this time I used medium curry powder as I already had a pot in the cupboard but, feel free to use any powder you fancy- mild, medium or hot - or any paste as I have also tried these with Patak's Tikka Masala paste and a Tesco Goan Massala paste before and all have been yummy)
vegetable oil for frying
For the Cucumber and Mint Raita:
150g natural yoghurt
2 tbsp. chopped fresh mint
8-10 slices of cucumber chopped into small chunks
For the Bombay Potatoes:
450g potatoes, peeled
15g fresh ginger
3 cloves of garlic
2 large tomatoes, 1 chopped into quarters and one into slim wedges
4 tbsp. vegetable oil
3/4 tsp. cumin seeds
1 tsp. mustard seeds
1 large onion, chopped fairly finely
2/3 tsp. turmeric
2 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. garam masala
1/2 tsp. chilli powder
A handful of finely chopped fresh coriander leaves
4x Brioche burger buns
Mango Chutney (I used Tesco Finest Mango and Apricot Chutney which was delicious)
A sprinkling of Rocket Leaves
1. Start by mixing together all of the raita ingredients with a little salt and pepper to season; then spoon into a small bowl and refrigerate until needed.
Note. Next, begin preparing the bombay potatoes. This recipe is scrumptious however, I am aware that it has a long old list of ingredients so, feel free to empty your store cupboard and trial whatever spices you already have in this recipe and keep trying and tweaking until you are happy as I am sure as long as you have enough spices to give a bit of a kick you will probably not require every single spice that I used but, if you do want to make this recipe in full then the good news is that your spices will keep for a long time in the cupboard so that you can make this recipe as many times as you like!
2. For the bombay potatoes, bring a large pot of salted water to the boil; place in the potatoes and boil until just tender. When cool enough to handle, chop into 2.5cm cubes.
3. Now blend together the ginger, garlic and quartered tomato until smooth.
4. Next, heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan. Add the cumin and mustard seeds and cook over a medium heat. Once the cumin starts to darken, add the onion and cook for a minute before adding the ginger, tomato and garlic mixture; ground spices and salt. Sauté gently for one to two minutes or until the garlic smells cooked.
5. Add the tomato wedges, stir well and cook for 3-4 minutes before tipping in the potatoes and cooking for a further 5 minutes to allow the potatoes to absorb the flavours. Set aside.
6. Now prepare the bhaji mix. Finely chop one onion and thinly slice the other. Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl. Add the curry paste or powder, chopped chilli and a good sprinkling of salt. Add about 150ml of cold water to make a thick batter and stir in the chopped and sliced onions until they are well coated.
7. Heat about 5cm of oil in a wok or deep pan. Add a tiny speck of batter, if it rises to the surface surrounded by bubbles and starts to brown, then the oil is hot enough. At this point, add a heaped tbsp. of onion mix to the pan to make 1 onion bhaji (feel free to add more if your pan is big enough). Cook the bhaji for a few mins, turning once, until they are evenly bronzed and crisp - about 3-4 mins before draining on kitchen paper and keeping warm until you have prepared all of the bhajis you need.
8. Finally, heat the bombay potatoes through, stirring in the fresh coriander and plate up your burgers. Onto the base of your burger bun- spread 1-2 tsp. cucumber and mint raita and onto the top of your burger bun- spread 1-2 tsp. mango chutney. Now onto the base add your rocket leaves; a small dollop of bombay potatoes and your onion bhaji. Place on the mango chutney covered top and hold your mammoth of a burger together with a cocktail stick. Serve with whatever you fancy- sweet potato chips are a great accompaniment. Last of all, get stuck in!
Thank you for reading!