Onion Bahji (Indian Onion Fritters) Recipe

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.

Recipe Details

Onion Bahji (Indian Onion Fritters) Recipe

Active 30 mins
Total 30 mins
Serves 14 bahji


  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt

  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

  • Lemon juice to taste

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 3 large onions, thinly sliced into 1/4 inch rings

  • 3 large eggs, beaten

  • 1/4 cup milk

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 2 quarts vegetable, canola, or peanut oil

  • Sliced scallions (optional)


  1. Combine yogurt and cilantro. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Set this dipping sauce aside.

  2. Combine onions, eggs, milk, flour, coriander, and cumin, and mix with your hands, crushing the onions with your fingers, until a smooth batter with a few lumps is formed.

  3. Pour 1 1/2 inches vegetable oil in a large pot and place over medium high heat. When oil is 350°F drop batter into oil by the 1/4 cup into the oil. Cook for 4 minutes per side, or until that side is brown; then flip and continue to cook. Remove bahji from oil and place on paper towels. Serve hot with dipping sauce, sliced scallions and any chutneys you happen to have in the fridge.

Special equipment

large pot for frying

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
157 Calories
12g Fat
10g Carbs
4g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 14
Amount per serving
Calories 157
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 12g 15%
Saturated Fat 2g 11%
Cholesterol 41mg 14%
Sodium 67mg 3%
Total Carbohydrate 10g 4%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 4g
Vitamin C 3mg 17%
Calcium 35mg 3%
Iron 1mg 3%
Potassium 141mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)