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Onion Bhajis

Restaurant style onion bhajis at home! 

Are you ready to start making the best onion bhajis around?

Look no further than this onion bhaji recipe. It gets outstanding results.

These are the onion bhajis  that feature in m  cookbook ‘The Curry Guy’ and so many people have tried and loved it. The thing I like most about this onion bhaji recipe is how crispy they get.

onion bhajis

So crispy and delicious. You’re going to love this one.

These are real onion bhajis, not a lot of stodge!

So often, you go out and order onions bhajis just to find they are like little balls of gram flour bread without much onion in them. More often than not, it is the ready made meals that have these stodgy onion bhajis in them.

You won’t find that with this recipe!

The onions are first salted to extract moisture out of the onions. Then, that liquid is used to make the batter. The batter really just holds them together. What you find inside is almost all onion!

So here you have my restaurant style onion bhaji recipe.

Make the recipe your own:

Feel free to play with the recipe some. If you like them spicier, add chilli powder or more fresh chillies. Want to try different spices…? Why not?

If it sounds good, it probably will be.

Just in case you aren’t familiar with panch phoran – it is Indian five spice. You can purchase it at most Asian shops or you could make it yourself if you have the ingredients on hand.

Just take equal measures of fennel seeds, fenugreek seeds, black mustard seeds, onion seeds and cumin seeds.

Give the mixture a good mix and you have panch phoran. Add as much or as little as you like. Play with the recipe and have fun!

If you like cooking by photos, I have step by step pics below. 

The written recipe is at the bottom of this page. 

All the ingredients

Sprinkle the salt over the onions and leave for an hour. Then add the remaining ingredients.

forming the bhajis

Form the onion mixture into small onion bhajis.

The bhajis ready for the fryer

Get you bhajis all ready before frying.

Adding to oil

Cook in batches. This is important. Add to many and it will lower the oil temperature.

Onion bhajis after first cook

Transfer the onion bhajis to a paper towels after the first frying.

Frying onion bhajis a second time.

Raise the heat and fry the bhajis for a few more seconds.

Onion bhajis

These are so good!

Oniond bhajis

Dig in!

If you love this recipe check out these other similar ones: 

BIR Style Cooked Onion
Onion Fried Rice
Chicken Curry with Onions

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Yield: 15

How To Make British Indian Restaurant (BIR) Style Onion Bhajis

onion bhajis
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour


  • 3 white onions slightly larger than tennis balls
  • Oil for deep frying
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon garlic paste
  • 3 green chillies - pounded to a paste
  • 1 tablespoon panch poran*
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 4 tbsp rice flour
  • 140g (approx) sifted gram flour
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped coriander leaves


  1. Cut the onions in half and then finely slice them. Mix the salt into them and set aside for an hour or so.
  2. After an hour the onions will be limp and moist. Add the remaining ingredients to the onions, being careful not to add to much gram flour. You should easily be able to pick up a ball of the onion mixture.
  3. Divide the mixture in to small bhajis.
  4. Heat some oil for deep frying to 160c (320f).
  5. When this heat is reached, cook the bhajis in batches until they turn light brown. Transfer to a plate while you cook the remaining bhajis. At this stage, you are not cooking the bhajis through. You just want to get them started.
  6. Turn the heat up until your oil reaches 180c ((356f)
  7. Add the bhajis in batches and cook for a further couple of minutes until they are crispy and deep brown in colour.
  8. Transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain excess oil and serve hot.
  9. If not serving immediately, place in a warm (not hot) oven.

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These onion bhajis are great served with my mint raita recipe.



Friday 22nd of October 2021

Finally a bhaji that I am happy to put my name to!! These are absolutely delicious. Many thanks for sharing this.

Dan Toombs

Friday 22nd of October 2021

Great to hear, thank you so much for letting me know. Dan


Friday 7th of August 2020

Hi made them tonight the out side looked lovely the inside how ever wasn’t did exactly as the recipe not sure what I did wrong

Dan Toombs

Monday 10th of August 2020

Hi I am sorry the recipe did not work well for you. If you join my Facebook group Curry Chit Chaat there is a lot of help and information from other members on my onion bhaji recipe which you might find helpful. Thanks Dan


Monday 1st of April 2019

Hi Dan, have made these before but would like to know if they can be frozen? How to reheat? Many thanks Alex

Dan Toombs

Wednesday 3rd of April 2019

Hi Alexandra

They can be. I recommend just browning them in the oil first so that they are about 90% cooked through. Then cool and freeze them. Let defrost and then fry once more until cooked through.

Thanks, Dan


Monday 11th of February 2019

Hi Dan,

Tried these twice now following the recipe. While I love the flavor I cant seem to get the onions to bind together when cooking they just sort of fall apart. Any ideas?

Dan Toombs

Tuesday 12th of February 2019

Hi Scott

That sounds to me like you need to add a drop more water. With enough moisture, they should stay together.

Thanks, Dan


Friday 4th of January 2019

Hi Dan, I recently tried an Indian fusion recipe which was bhaji based but they used butternut squash - would this work with your recipe? Will it cook the same - have you tried this recipe with vegetables other than onion? Thanks for your time :)

Dan Toombs

Tuesday 8th of January 2019

Hi Joanne

That sounds interesting. I've never tried it with squash but have used the same recipe with many other vegetables. Vegetable pakora! Love it.


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