Onion bhaji, cucumber and cream cheese & chive
Earlier this year, my good buddy, Dave, decided to reinvent the bagel with a little help from Angie at The Beigel Shop on Brick Lane.
For the onion bhajis
2 red onions, finely sliced
1 green chilli, finely chopped and de-seeded, if preferred
2 garlic cloves
8g root ginger, finely chopped
1 tbsp butter, melted
½ tsp red chilli powder
½ tsp ground turmeric
2 curry leaves
6 tbsp of gram flour
3 tbsp of rice flour
¼ bunch coriander, chopped
¼ tsp fennel seeds
500ml vegetable oil, for frying
For the rest
1 tbsp chives, finely chopped and mixed with 8 tbsp cream cheese
¼ cucumber, sliced
4 poppy seed bagels
Start by heating the vegetable oil in your deep fryer to 180˚C, while you mix together the ingredients for the onion bhajis.
In a mixing bowl, mix together the sliced red onions, green chilli, garlic, ginger, curry leaves and melted butter.
Add the chilli powder, turmeric powder, gram flour, rice flour, chopped coriander, fennel seeds and salt to taste. Sprinkle with water and mix well so it is thick enough to hold its shape.
Check the temperature of the oil by dropping in a small spoonful of the mixture – it should sizzle and float.
With moistened hands, drop tablespoon-sized portions of the mixture into the hot oil, about 5 at a time. Stir gently and fry until evenly golden brow all over.
Repeat the process in small batches until all the mixture is used. Drain the fried onion bhajis on kitchen towel. Serve immediately or allow to cool to room temperature if you prefer.
Whilst the bhajis are resting, cut open the bagels and spread a generous 2 tablespoons of cream cheese and chives on the bottom half of each one. Lay about 3 slices of cucumber on top before dividing the bhajis between them.
Pop the top half of the bagels back on and tuck in.