ONION BHAJIS

I’ve been getting towards the end of a sack of onions and there’s quite a few sprouty ones, so I thought I’d use some up by making some onion bhajis.

Really simple to make; really delicious to eat.

INGREDIENTS

3 brown onions, thinly sliced.

Gram flour (also known as besan flour)

Enough water to make a batter the thickness of double cream.

Salt to taste

3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced.

2cm fresh ginger chopped.

Tsp turmeric

Tsp cumin seeds

Chili to taste (I used powder, but chopped fresh green chili would be nice).

Pinch asafoetida.

Lemon juice (I used a big squirt of the bottled stuff).

Oil to fry (I used sunflower)

All you do is mix your ingredients well and fry in batches (180 degrees C, is the optimal temperature for crispy bhajis, which are cooked through without being burnt on the outside) until brown and crispy. Try and stop yourself eating them as you cook them. There’s a nice little article on the ins and outs of bhaji making here.

Ready to fry.

I served mine with a sauce of 50/50 soy/coconut yoghurt (any will do, but the coconuttiness was especially nice), dried mint, salt and a little garam masala.

PROTEIN BALLS

PROTEIN BALLS HAVE TAKEN OVER FROM THE MACARON. They’re bloody everywhere.

When the historians of the future look back at the early 21st Century, and when they want a break from muttering ‘what the actual fuck’, they will perhaps examine the rise of the protein ball.

Sphere of influence

The internet, whilst it gives untold variations on recipes for protein balls, gives little insight into their origins. They sort of grew out of the space between the flapjack (remember them?), chocolate crackles, the slimmer’s bar and the chocolate digestive. They do hold quite a lot of information about our current obsessions though, with the protein element pushed to the fore (got to have protein, lots of protein – even though I sit on my arse all day, I need the protein intake of Precious McKenzie), coconut (the on-trend oily veg), and purport to be a low-guilt healthy energy boost (we used to say sugar-hit, but that just won’t do anymore) and things with ‘Superfood’ on the label, like Cocoa Nibs.

I’d never tasted one until a colleague (the same one who got me into brewing kombucha) forced one upon me. Not my kind of thing, usually, but, man, it was delicious – not as sweet as I’d imagined, and satisfying enough to dull the mid-afternoon hunger pangs before the you run the next marathon, dead-lift the next 100 kilos or browse youtube clips until you can sneak off home without being noticed. I persuaded him to give me the recipe, and I pass that on to you.


Approximately 250g Mixed raw nuts (almonds, walnuts, cashews, brazils), blended (choose your size of lump).

Cocoa powder

6 Dates, pitted (more, if you want it sweeter)

2 tbs coconut oil

Coconut flakes

Vanilla extract (although I forgot to put this in the second time I made them and they were still nice).

Cocoa nibs

Water

All you do is blend the nuts, coconut and dates. Mix with the vanilla, cocoa nibs, and a drop of water, not making it too wet. Form into balls, roll them in cocoa power and let them firm up in the fridge. Lick your hands clean, not getting it into your beard.