Vegetable Bhaji Salad with Sour Cream, Lemon and Cilantro

Updated February 23, 2016
This image courtesy of David Loftus


Cooking Methodpan-frying



Total Timeunder 1 hour

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

One Pot MealYes

OccasionCasual Dinner Party

Recipe Courseappetizer, main course

Five Ingredients or LessYes



Taste and Texturecreamy, crisp, savory, spiced

Type of Dishfirst course salad, main course salad, warm salad


  • ¾ cup chickpea flour
  • ¾ cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon paprika or chilli powder
  • ½ level teaspoon salt
  • 1 small cucumber
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • A small bunch of fresh cilantro, leaves picked and roughly chopped
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 leek, trimmed
  • 2 carrots, peeled
  • 3 spring onions, trimmed
  • 2 red onions, peeled
  • 2 fresh red chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
  • a 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil, for frying
  • A pinch of mustard seeds
  • ¼ pound arugula, washed and spun dry
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges


Put the flours and ground spices in a bowl and slowly pour in 1 cup water, stirring all the time with a wooden spoon or a whisk to make a bright yellow batter. Stir in the salt, then put to one side.

Peel strips off the cucumber with a speed peeler and put them to one side. Mix the sour cream with the cilantro and the lemon juice. Add a splash of olive oil, season, and put to one side.

Cut the leek, carrots, spring onions and red onions into thin strips – try to get them the size of long matchsticks. Mix with the chillies and ginger and set aside.

Pour the vegetable oil into a large non-stick frying pan and heat until very hot. Mix the vegetables, a little at a time, with some of the batter, add the mustard seeds and drop a tablespoon of the mix into the hot oil. Repeat with the remaining mix – you may have to fry the bhajis in batches. Press the bhajis down with the back of a fork and make sure they aren’t touching each other or they might stick together. Fry for a minute or so on each side until crispy, then drain on kitchen paper towels.

Arrange 2 or 3 bhajis on each plate with some arugula leaves and the cucumber strips, drizzle with the sour cream dressing and serve with the lemon wedges.


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