For the last few years, Phil and I have welcomed in the new year with a take away. It’s easier than cooking giving us more time to get onto that second bottle of prosecco. However, we’ve recently been cutting back on takeaways, and we’ve realised that a lot of the time, we prefer what we cook to what we get from takeaways. So we decided that this year, we’d cook something ourselves and we decided on a curry. Armed with a good quality shop bought curry sauce, a packet of vegan Quorn and ingredients for chapatis and bhajis, we set about creating our new year feast.
It kind of went okay. The bhajis were delicious and I almost couldn’t stop eating them. The chapatis were okay, though I couldn’t get chapati flour so they weren’t as soft as they should be. I had to substitute wholemeal flour in its place, which works okay, but it’s not ideal. The shop bought sauce and vegan Quorn pieces weren’t that tasty in comparison with the freshly homemade extras. I think I need to get a few vegetable curry sauces under my belt so we don’t have to buy sauces. We’ve got most of the spices so it shouldn’t be that hard, right?
The best thing was having enough bhajis left over for lunch the next day. I had some wraps in the freezer which I used, put some vegan mayo and French’s Deli relish, along with a couple of bhajis and some salad leaves. They were so good! I’m so pleased I didn’t eat them all New Year’s eve!
To make the bhajis, you need the following:
- Two cups of gram flour
- 1/2 teaspoon of chili powder
- 1 teaspoon of crushed coriander seeds (though 1/2 teaspoon of ground coriander will do)
- 1 teaspoon of paprika
- 1 onion
- 2 handfuls of fresh spinach
- At least one cup of water, though probably two. You want to add it slowly, whisking as you go, so that you end up with a gloopy batter, but not liquid
- plenty of oil for frying
- Sieve the gram flour into a bowl and add all the spices. Mix.
- Gradually add the water, mixing as you go, so that you end up with a thick batter.
- Chop the onion and the spinach. Then add to the batter.
- Give the batter a good mix so that all the onion and spinach is covered in the batter.
- Heat the oil in a wok. When it’s really hot, carefully add spoonfuls of the batter mix to oil.
- Keep an eye on the bhajis and when they’re cooked on one side, carefully turn them.
- When the bhajis are brown on both sides, carefully remove them from the oil and leave them to drain on some kitchen paper.
- When cool enough to avoid burning you mouth, enjoy until you can eat no more!
I got this recipe years and years ago from a cooking class I went on. It was pretty good, though this is the only thing I’ve made in about ten years! If you do have any leftovers, it might be worth warming them through to get the most out of their deliciousness. Enjoy!