Not From Concentrate

Vegetable Bhajis


Vegetable Bhajis
Recently some of our friends lent us an older cookbook from Jamie Oliver, and we are completely obsessed. We already ordered our own copy and made a few recipes from the book. One of my favorite things about it is that he includes some simple Indian dishes, and I absolutely love Indian food! Give me a good Indian buffet and I will be one happy girl. Well, I would also like a sushi buffet as long as we’re dreaming. But since I don’t always feel like over-eating at least 2 giant plate fulls of Indian food just so I feel like I got my money’s worth, it’s probably good that we came upon these recipes. The first that we tried is a recipe for Vegetable Bhajis.

Vegetable Bhajis

You can’t see all these bright vivid colors and simply pass this over! Sometimes I think we underestimate naturally colorful food. No added coloring over here baby – just beautiful hues from nature.


This turmeric is the culprit of turning all my cookware slightly yellow. It always wears away after several washes and I love the flavor too much to give it up, plus I’m pretty sure you can’t make Indian food without it.


Pasan made these as appetizers while the rest of our dinner was cooking, and I photographed/drooled the whole time. They’re also perfect to set out for guests if you’re not having a full on meal. I had already mixed up a plain greek yogurt and sour cream dipping sauce to go with another recipe earlier in the week, but I pulled it out with these and it was quite yummy.


Enjoy trying not to fill up on these before actual dinner. Or maybe just be a rebel, forego everything else, and eat a handful of these. You won’t regret it!


Vegetable Bhajis

Adapted from Jamie’s Food Revolution


Serves 4-6


2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
1 4-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
2 medium red onions, finely chopped
2 fresh red or green chilis, finely chopped
1 large bunch fresh cilantro, roughly chopped (including stalks)
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp sea salt
1 cup self rising flour (Instructions for making your own from all-purpose flour here)
1/2 cup cold water
1 quart vegetable oil, for frying
1 piece of potato
juice from 1 lemon
2 limes


1) Combine the carrots, ginger, onions, chilis, cilantro, turmeric, cumin seeds, and sea salt in a large bowl. Add the flour and cold water and scrunch the ingredients together a few times using your (clean) hands until it is evenly thick.
2) In a deep fat fryer or large sauce pan, heat the oil on medium to high heat. Drop in the piece of potato. The oil is ready when the potato floats to the top of the oil and starts to sizzle. Remove it from the oil using a slotted spoon or skimmer.
3) Gather one tablespoon of the bhaji mixture and press together lightly with your hands. Carefully lower it into the hot oil and repeat until there are several bhajis in the oil at the same time. They should be cooked for about 5 minutes, until they’re crispy and golden. Remove them using the slotted spoon or skimmer and let them drain on paper towels. Sprinkle them with sea salt and lemon juice and then repeat the process with the rest of the mixture.
4) Once all bhajis are fried, serve them on a platter with the limes cut into wedges. Eat them fresh and hot, and squeeze the limes over them for an extra kick!

Dipping Sauce

From Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi


3 tbsp plain greek yogurt
3 tbsp sour cream
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp chopped cilantro
salt and pepper


Whisk together all ingredients and refrigerate until you’re ready to dip the bhajis in the sauce!

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