Onion Bahji (Indian Onion Fritters) Recipe

British Bites

Classic british dishes updated for the modern American cook.

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.

  • Yield:makes 14 bahji
  • Active time: 30 minutes
  • Total time:30 minutes


  • 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 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. 1.

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

  2. 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. 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.