What better way to embrace the rainy weather than with a plate of scrumptious snacks and a steaming cup of chai? Bollywood diva Madhuri Dixit and her husband Dr Shriram Nene recently showcased their culinary skills by recreating the iconic Indian snack, onion bhajiya, in not one, but four different ways.
Known for their commitment to health and fitness, this power couple not only shared their mouthwatering recipes but also introduced alternative cooking techniques that make the beloved bhajiyas healthier and more nutritious.
Here’s why each method is considered healthier than the traditional deep-frying technique..
Air Frying: The air frying technique ensures reduced oil absorption and greasiness. By using hot air circulation instead of submerging the bhajiyas in oil, you can enjoy the crispy texture of the fritters with significantly less oil content. This method is especially beneficial for those who are conscious of their calorie intake and are looking for a healthier snack option.
Baking: The baked version of onion bhajiya is convenient to make and offers reduced oil absorption. By using the oven to cook the fritters, you can achieve a crispy exterior without the need for excessive oil. Baking also retains the nutritional value of the ingredients, making it a favourable choice for health-conscious individuals.
Panko-Coated: Dixit and her family also introduced a panko-coated version of the bhajiya for health fanatics. Panko, a type of Japanese breadcrumb, provides a lighter and crunchier texture compared to traditional breadcrumbs. It requires less oil for frying while still maintaining the desired crispiness. This technique offers a healthier twist without compromising on flavour.
Recipe: Onion Bhajiya
2 Medium-Sized Onions (320 g)
2/3 cup Besan/Chickpea Flour
2 tbsp Rice Flour
1/2 tsp Minced Ginger
1 Green chilli, finely chopped
1/2 tsp Turmeric
1/2 tsp Red Chilli Powder
A pinch of Baking Soda
1 tbsp Oil
2 to 3 tbsp Water
- In a bowl, combine the diced onions, besan, rice flour, salt, turmeric, red chili powder, minced ginger, and finely chopped green chilli.
- Sprinkle in a pinch of baking soda and add a tablespoon of oil to the mixture. Mix everything well.
- Adjust the consistency of the batter by adding 2 to 3 tablespoons of water, if needed.
- Now comes the fun part—choose your preferred cooking technique: deep frying, shallow frying, air frying, or baking.
- If you opt for deep frying, heat oil in a pan and carefully drop spoonfuls of the onion bhajiya batter into the hot oil. Fry until they turn golden brown and crispy.
- For shallow frying, heat a small amount of oil in a pan and place spoonfuls of the batter on it. Cook until both sides are golden brown.
- To air fry the bhajiyas, preheat your air fryer and place the batter-coated onions inside. Cook until they achieve a crispy texture.
- For a healthier twist, you can bake the bhajiyas. Preheat your oven, line a baking tray with parchment paper, and place spoonfuls of the batter on it. Bake until they turn brown and crispy, flipping them halfway through.
- Whichever cooking technique you choose, make sure to cook the bhajiyas until they achieve a deliciously golden colour.
Bonus Recipe: Masala Chai
1 cup Water (as per requirement)
1/2-inch Ginger, grated
4 Whole Green Cardamom Pods
4 Black Peppercorns
4 Whole Cloves
1 tsp Loose Black Tea Leaves
1/3 cup Almond Milk
Sugar or Jaggery, to taste (as required)
- Crush the green cardamom pods, black peppercorns, and cloves to release their flavours.
- Boil a cup of water in a saucepan and add the crushed spices and grated ginger to it.
- Stir in the loose black tea leaves and let the mixture simmer for a few minutes to infuse the flavours.
- Add your preferred sweetener, such as sugar or jaggery, and adjust it according to your taste.
- Pour in the milk of your choice and continue to simmer until the chai reaches a rolling boil.
- Strain the masala chai into cups and savour the aromatic blend.