How to Make Onion Bhajis at Home

A quick and easy tutorial on how to make onion bhajis at home, just like the ones at Indian restaurants.

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

How to Make Onion Bhajis at Home

How to make Onion Bhajis at home is a question I get asked a lot! It’s one of the most common questions in my Indian cooking classes. Honestly, I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love Onion Bhajis, with the exception of my mother in law, of course. And her brother in law it would seem.

Tomorrow is Eid ul Adha and I have an order for 200 of these for a celebration dinner from one of my clients, along with the usual bryani, naans and a couple of curries.

Eid ul Adha is also known as the festival of sacrifice. It is one of the two Eids celebrated by Muslims around the world, commemorating Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son Ishmael in the name of God, only to be stopped by the Archangel Gabriel and told that it was the greatest test of his faith. We all know this story, don’t we? It would seem we are not so different after all. Eid ul Adha also celebrates the completion of the hajj, the annual pilgrimage by many to Mecca, one of the 5 pillars of Islam.

It is also a day to think of others and to transcend the needs of the self as those who can afford it will sacrifice a lamb or share in the sacrificing of one.  One third of whatever you can afford to sacrifice is kept for the family, one third for the neighbours and the final one third to the poor and needy. A wonderful act of charity.

How to make onion Bhajis at home

Cultural lesson of the day over! You’ll see from the recipe that onion bhajis are very quick and easy to make at home. And the best thing is, you can even make it ahead (see below). They make great lunchbox fillers too, for adults and kids alike. Onion bhajis are standard starters at Indian restaurants and you can serve them with any condiment you like, like the popular raita and and mango chutney. Take a look at the recipe for Za’atar Yoghurt for a different raita than you’re usually used to.

Make Ahead: You can even make them the day before, place them in the fridge, covered, and reheat in the oven at 200˚C/400˚F for 8-10 minutes when you want them.

Just a quick note on the recipe: make the bhajis hotter/spicier by using more chillies or chilli powder. If you’ve never made Onion Bhajis at home, now’s your chance, let me know how it goes!

Now, shall we get cooking?

If you like the recipe and article, don’t forget to leave me a comment and that all important, 5-star rating! Thank you!

And if you make the recipe, share it on any platform and tag me @azlinbloor, and hashtag it #linsfood

Lin xx

How to make Onion Bhajis at Home

A quick and easy tutorial on how to make onion bhajis at home, just like the ones at Indian restaurants.
4.96 from 42 votes
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Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: onion
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 16 bhajis
Calories: 323kcal
Author: Azlin Bloor


  • 90 g gram/chickpea/garbanzo flour
  • 60 g rice flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp red chilli powder
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 Tbsp butter melted
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 white onions finely sliced
  • 1 – 2 green chillies (to taste) finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 2.5 cm ginger grated or finely chopped
  • Small handful fresh coriander cilantro leaves, chopped
  • ¼ tsp fennel seeds
  • ¼ tsp cumin seeds
  • 500 vegetable oil for frying
  • Water as needed for the bhaji
  • A bowl of water for your hands when frying


  • Place the flours, salt, chilli and turmeric powders into a large mixing bowl and mix briefly, no need to sift.
  • Add the melted butter and lemon juice and just enough water to form a thick batter.
  • Now add the onions, chillies, garlic, ginger, fresh coriander leaves, fennel and cumin and mix thoroughly to get a thick mix. You might need a little more water to lighten it ever so slightly. It doesn’t want to be runny, it wants to be thick enough so that the batter clings to the onions and you can shape it into balls.
  • Heat the oil in a wok, balti or deep saucepan over medium high heat. TIP: Drop a tiny bit of batter in the oil. If the batter rises immediately then it’s hot enough to fry.
  • Place the bowl of water for your hands close to the wok. We are going to fry our bhajis in batches, how many at a time depends on the size of your wok/pan.
  • Line a large plate with 2-3 layers of kitchen paper for the cooked bhajis, to soak up excess oil.
  • Wet your hands and shape the bhajis. You could either shape them as balls or flatten them into patties, I prefer them flattened.
  • Drop about 5 bhajis into the hot oil.
  • Fry until they are a fairly uniform brown all over, about 3-4 minutes. Turn them around a little during frying to achieve uniformity.
  • Place the cooked bhajis on the paper lined plate and continue cooking the rest.
  • Serve hot or at room temperature.


Calories: 323kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 32g | Saturated Fat: 26g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 2mg | Sodium: 185mg | Potassium: 88mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 44IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 10mg | Iron: 1mg
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15 thoughts on “How to Make Onion Bhajis at Home”

  1. Cliff Beaven

    I always preferred to eat the Onion Bhaji in ball shaped as that was the norm in England Indian Restaurants .
    When I moved to the USA the Indian Restaurants either did not offer them or told me that they were not popular.
    Luckily enough 25 years on for me my local IR in Atlanta does. I am going to cook a batch tonight.
    Do you have a recipe book for Indian Meals?

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    1. Sure, you are more than welcome to do that, with links back and credit. If you let me know, I would be more than happy to reshare your work on the various social media platforms.

  3. Oh these Bhajis look great! I am forever trying to replicate my late aunts bhajis – they were soo good!! I will keep trying till I get them like hers .. Will keep this in mind. Thank you Lin.

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