healthy onion bhajis

cookery chat with david & sandra biddle

9: healthy onion bhajis

This month we decided to have a trip from our moorings near Hillmorton Locks on the Oxford canal to Foxton Locks and back. It was a leisurely trip of two weeks, stopping for the odd meal and drink along the way – like you do!!

Our surprise find was at Crick, we walked the 20 minutes into the village and found a pub called The Royal Oak – poshed up with bright colours and trendy furniture which is not our personal taste for a village pub, however, part of the pub is converted into the ‘Spice Lounge’ which was an authentic Indian restaurant. We had our usual delights and a couple of beers and were quite impressed giving it a rating of 8/10. The only negatives being the portion sizes. We like to be fed and fattened and although there was sufficient food at £50 for the two of us we were hoping to be able to take away the left-over’s!

We had trouble with our heating system and at Foxton we had the Webasto unit taken off and diagnosed for faults, so we just had to moor there for a few days longer than we anticipated enjoying the delights of Bridge 61 and the boating fraternity that frequent this ‘real’ boaters watering hole!!

Living a couple of miles outside of Market Harborough we nipped home and whilst there re-stocked with food and also had time to make a really quick, boat kitchen friendly snack which is ideal to eat after a few beers or while boating along our lovely waterways. Spicy Onion Bhaji’s – you must have a go at this and if you don’t like spices – leave it out or add your favourite flavourings – we have even tried it with added mango chutney. Unlike other recipes for this old favourite, there is no need to use specialist flours such as Chaat etc.

Spicy Onion Bhaji

This is a real healthy snack, and if like me, you are trying to lose a bit of weight – these are really good.

4 - Small onions
1 – Tin of Chickpeas (33p from Aldi)
2 – Cloves of Garlic
1 – Egg
1 – tablespoon of curry powder
½ - teaspoon of turmeric
Salt as required


  • Slice thinly the onions and put to the side.
  • Now drain the chickpeas and add the rest of the ingredients, mash this mixture up – use a hand blender or potato masher – but make sure it is well blended until a smooth paste exists. It will have the constituency a bit like mashed potatoes.


  • Now stir in the sliced onions, we use a spoon for this, but using one of your hands is just as good. Make sure it is well mixed.
  • Make into small balls and put onto a grease proofed dish


  • Cook in the over for 20 minutes on a low light until the last 5 minutes then heat on full to brown the edges. You can shallow fry these if you are not conscious of calories.
  • Serve these with yoghurt mixed with mint leaves and half a teaspoon of mango chutney (mixed together of course) or apricot jam and salad. This snack can be served hot from the oven or enjoyed cold.


Next time Sandra and I are going to be sharing BBQ ideas. Subject to the weather remaining fine!!

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About David Biddle

David & Sandra Biddle have been boating for around 25 years. They have both made their careers out of cooking, and enjoy sharing their passion for food and good wine. Their tastes are wide ranging - from spicy, to Italian to good old English.