Widely used in savoury Indian dishes, gram flour (also known as besan or chickpea flour) is a fine yellow gluten-free flour made from ground chickpeas. Find it in the supermarket world food aisle or in your local health foods shop.
140g/5oz carrot, grated
2 tsp nigella seeds
100g/4oz parsnip, peeled into shavings with a potato peeler
2 tbsp desiccated coconut
small pack coriander, stalks only, finely chopped (use the leaves below)
140g/5oz beetroot, half grated, half cut into fine matchsticks
2 tsp grated ginger
1 litre/1 3 /4 pints sunflower oil, for frying
lemon and lime wedges, to serve
FOR THE BATTER
4 tbsp balti paste
250g/9oz gram flour (or plain flour)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp each cumin seeds, ground cumin, ground coriander and garam masala
1 /4 tsp hot chilli powder
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
FOR THE CORIANDER CREAM
350g/12oz coconut yogurt
small pack coriander, leaves picked
zest and juice 2 limes
To make the batter, stir the balti paste into 250ml cold water. Mix the flour, baking powder and spices in a mixing bowl, make a well in the centre, then pour in the balti water and gradually stir together to a smooth batter. Stir in the onions, then divide between 3 bowls.
Stir the carrot and nigella seeds into one batch of batter, the parsnip, coconut and chopped coriander stalks into another, and the beetroot and ginger into the third.
Make the coriander cream by whizzing half the coconut yogurt with the coriander leaves and lime juice until well blitzed and green. Stir through the lime zest and remaining yogurt, then keep cold until serving.
Heat the oil in a deep pan or a non-stick wok to 180C or until a piece of bread browns in 20 secs. Starting with the parsnip and ending with the beetroot, add spoonfuls of the mixture to the oil, a few at a time, and cook for a few mins, turning occasionally until evenly browned and crispy – about 4 mins. Lift out onto kitchen paper with a slotted spoon, sprinkle with a little salt and keep warm in a low oven while you cook the rest.
Serve the hot bhajis with the coriander cream, and lemon and lime wedges for squeezing over.
PER SERVING (8)
304 kcals • fat 17g • saturates 8g • carbs 28g • sugars 7g • fibre 6g • protein 7g • salt 0.6g