Sometimes, though very rarely, life can feel a bit too short, a little too rushed, to have have the time to blend spices. Sometimes, though very rarely, its nice when someone else does the prep work for you.
Yesterday was one such time. Ive been a customer of Hares Moor curry kits for three years now. They sell fresh ingredients by mail order garlic, ginger, chillies plus little sachets of secret spice blends. You can get four kits for a tenner, which is a bargain.
Theyve never let me down. Im particularly fond of their madras and korma kits. You just add your meat or veg of choice, and away you go. Better than anything you could get in a curry house and actually better than I can cook from scratch myself!
And talking about scratches: Ive had a scratch Ive wanted to itch for some time now: Onion Bhajis. I know the batter is essentially gram flour and spices but which spices?
Ive tried several recipes and never quite got it right so a while ago, I challenged Hares Moor to come up with a Bhaji kit.
Well, I am delighted to report that they have done just that. And Im privileged enough to be one of their guinea pigs to test it.
The verdict: sensational. Spicy and crunchy, with a soft centre (almost like the underneath of an apple crumble) with sweet, crisp onions.
I would have benefitted from a deep-fat fryer, or at least a thermometer to gauge the temperature of the oil, because I think I burnt mine a tad. I also made them far too big (though neither my wife or I were complaining).
Anyway, heres how it worked, step-by=step.
The kit contained (to make 8-10 small bhajis, or 4 massive ones)
1 pack of gram flour
1 sachet secret spices
4 thin green chillies
A little oil
200ml warm water
1 tsp salt
1 litre oil for deep-frying
1. Make the batter by sifting the flour and spices together in a bowl. Gradually ad the warm water and beat the hell out of it with a whisk to get as much air into it as possible, approx. 10 mins. It should be the consistency of cake mixture. Cover with a cloth and leave in a warm place to ferment for 30 mins.
2. Peel and slice the onions into half moons. I sliced mine slightly thicker than recommended because I really like the sweetness of cooked onion. Mix into the batter, making sure all the onions are coated. Finely chop the chillies and add to the mixture,. Season with 1 tsp salt.
3. Heat the oil in a deep-fat fryer, or large frying pan (which is all Ive got). When it is hot enough to sizzle when you drop a little batter mixture into it, carefully lower tablespoons of the onion bhaji mixture into the pan. Dont overcrowd the pan as this will lower the temperature of the oil and make the bhajis greasy.
4. Cook for approx 8-10 mins, turning occasionally, until the bhajis are golden brown.
5. Drain on kitchen paper. Serve with raita and mango chutney.
If you fancy trying Hares Moor curry kits, go to their website by clicking here.
I would like to emphasise that this is NOT a sponsored post.