British Bites: Onion Bahji

British Bites

Classic British dishes updated for the modern American cook.


[Photograph: Sydney Oland]

After a long night at the pub, nothing sets you straight like a bowl of piping hot curry and a big plate of crisp onion bahji. Available at most curry shops in the UK, these simple fritters are the ideal mix of salt, spices, and fat that can put you quickly back on track after a few too many pints.

These fritters are a great example of Anglo-Indian food and are basically a hybrid of a pakora and an onion ring. Using onions sliced in rings, then crushing them in the batter gives the onions juices a chance to meld into that batter and lends an especially great texture to the final product. The rings of onions stick out in all directions while they fry, making them ideal for dipping into the cool yogurt sauce.

The spices in this version are simple and clean, but if you feel like you need a bit of heat try adding 1/4 teaspoon of chili flakes to the batter. If you find yourself with a few leftover bahji you can reheat them in a hot oven and recover much of their lovely crispness.