Kanda Bhajia is a popular crunchy and mouth-watering tea time snack made with kanda (onions) mixed with besan and spices to give a spicy taste. This is a wonderful Maharashtrian recipe where the bhajia give an incredible taste from the spices and broken dhania seeds. The dhania seeds give a citrus like taste and are an excellent spice herb.
Kanda Bhajia is prepared in various ways giving different variations. It is commonly known as onion fritters or onion pakoras. These hot crispy snacks are wonderful and perfect to be served during rainy days or winter days. They taste extremely well with some sweet sour tamarind chutney or eat on its own. The actual secret of making crispy Bhajia is by not adding any water. The besan flour should be mixed well with the moisture present in the onions. The trick is to add salt to the onions prior to adding besan flour and spices. This helps in releasing its moisture from the onions.
Like most bhajia or pakoras, Kanda bhajia is also deep fried until crisp. The spices and crushed coriander seeds are freshly ground and added just before frying gives an edge over its counterparts. This is an incredible comforting food and a light snack best enjoyed over a hot cup of tea. Kanda bhajia made with chickpeas flour gives a nice nutty flavour and blends well with coriander seeds and other spices.
Coriander (Coriandrum sativumis) is also known as Cilantro. The leaves are similar to Parsley, and the herbs can be substituted for each other. Dried Coriander is used in most of the Indian dishes like dips, soup, chutneys and other foods. Coriander seeds or dhania seeds have a warm, nutty, citrus taste and the best flavour is obtained by dry roasting the seeds before using them. The roasted seeds can also be left whole to provide a tasty savoury snack. In India, coriander powder or seeds are used for flavouring various curries, dals etc. It has a thickening effect and is a key ingredient in curries and Indian cooking. It is not always convenient to grind your own Coriander seed so ready ground is useful to have in hand.
Onions is also a vital ingredient in most Indian cooking. They are used in seasoning a variety of vegetarian and non-vegetarian delicacies. Onions, being versatile is used in various ways – chopped, sliced, fried, cubed, grated etc. Raw onions have a pungent taste and when cooked turns sweet with an intense flavour. Onions differ in size, colour and taste depending upon the variety. You can never imagine a kitchen without the use of onions as they are one of the most extensively used in every household, valued for their distinctively pungent smell and taste of onions filling out the flavours in almost every type of cuisine.
Onions are added from making a simple salad, onion rings, onion samosa, onion sambar, onion paratha to the most delicious dishes such as Roast Yakhni – Leg of lamb with a spicy coating, hot lamb masala etc. Coated with gram flour and fried makes a fantastic and crispy Kanda bhajia! Onions pickled in vinegar are often eaten as a snack.
Preparing the Kanda Bhajia is very easy and can be made in a jiffy for unexpected guest. For preparing this delicious and spicy bhajias, firstly Finely chop onions and put them in a bowl. Add little salt and mix the onions well so that it becomes soft. In the same bowl, add crushed green chillies, cumin seeds, hing, chilli powder and pinch of garam masala, ajwain, broken coriander seeds, cooking soda and mix it well. In this add enough besan (chickpea flour) and mix well to make soft dough. Heat oil in a kadai and when the oil is hot, drop the onion bhajias in batches and deep fry on medium flame until they are crisp and turn golden in colour. Remove, drain oil and serve hot as starters or snack. Kanda bhajia can be eaten just on its own or served with sauce.
Kanda Bhajia prepared from a batter of besan atta, onions, curry leaves, green chillies and spices are deep fried till they attain a beautiful golden brown colour. These bhajias are often made during social gatherings, family get-together, and during Holi. The tasty and crunchy snack is very easy to make. To try this recipe, click the link below and watch the making Kanda Bhajia:
Apart from adding flavours to the dishes, onions are also very good source of vitamin C and dietary fibre. They are also a good source of manganese, molybdenum, vitamin B6, and folate, potassium, phosphorous and copper.