Gujarati onion bhajis

This is a delicious snack or starter, particularly if you have a number of friends coming over for dinner. It is a very messy job - you end up with very yellow, doughy fingers thanks to the turmeric! - but well worth the effort and best eaten straight away. We eat these with a side of sweet chili sauce and they really hit the spot. Perfect for when you have a ton of onions and can't figure out what to do with them...

Makes: 30 ping-pong sized balls


  1. Put sliced onions in a large mixing bowl and set aside
  2. In another mixing bowl, mix all the other ingredients in the list with a spoon, so the mixture resembles sand
  3. Pour the flour mixture (sand) into the bowl of onions and really work the flour into the onions. Squish well to extract the juice from the onions, which will transofrm the dry-looking mixture into a workable paste. Add water if necessary although not too much, as you do not want it to be too gluggy.
  4. Once the bhaji mixture is a more workable paste, it should hold shape. Use your hands to shape the mixture into small balls, ping-pong sized
  5. Heat a wok or deep pan with vegetable oil - at least an inch for frying and wait til oil is hot
  6. Fry up scoops of onion bhaji until they are golden and crisp - this can take about 2 minutes per batch but judge by golden-brown colour. Drain the oil from the bhajis (kitchen roll is useful here) and serve immediately, with chili sauce if desired or any other sauce that takes your fancy!











  • 4 large onions, sliced into strips or rings
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped finely
  • 1 tbsp grated ginger (or 1/4 tsp dried ginger)
  • 2 tbsp Greek yoghurt
  • 1.5 cups of cornflour
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 lemon, juice
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • vegetable oil for shallow frying
  • handful of chopped parsley or coriander

goi cuon (summer rolls)

Makes: 8 rolls

These are also known as nem cuon, and are super-tasty and refreshing as a starter to any Asian meal. They are also incredibly easy to make once you have had a go or two.


  1. To make the pork, you can simply use pork tenderloin that is cut into strips, marinated in some garlic, ginger, dark soy sauce and kecap manis (if you can find it - a sweet sauce). Stir-fry these strips in some oil til brown and set aside to cool.  
  2. Bring some water to boil and add the vermicelli, remove from heat and leave to soak for 2 minutes til noodles are soft. Drain and rinse in cold water to stop it cooking any more. Set aside with the pork.
  3. To assemble the summer rolls, have all ingredients to hand on a workspace. Dip one rice paper into a shallow dish of cold water and leave it immersed for about one minute, remove and lay on a wet tea towel. In the centre of the paper, arrange 2 crossed chives, followed by small amounts of mint leaves, basil, 2 prawn halves, noodles, bean sprouts, pork and lettuce in layers. Do not overfill as it will be hard to roll afterwards. Fold the edge of the paper closest to you over the folling, fold in the sides and then roll away from you to secure everything in a neat parcel. Set the assembled roll aside on a plate or wet tea towel.
  4. Repeat the process with the remaining papers. Arrange on a serving platter and serve with the dipping sauce.


Adapted from Rick Stein's 'far eastern odyssey'


  • 150g sweet Vietnamese-style pork (pre-cooked) - need garlic, ginger and dark soy sauce
  • 25g dried rice vermicelli noodles
  • 100g batavia lettuce leaves, washed and dried
  • 50g fresh bean sprouts
  • leaves from 2-3 sprigs fresh mint
  • leaves from 2-3 sprigs Thai sweet basil (optional)
  • 8 large cooked peeled prawns, halved lengthways
  • 8 x 22cm extra-thin dried Vietnamese rice papers
  • 16 chives

Ingredients for dipping sauce:

  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 1 red birdseye chilli, thinly sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, very finely chopped