There's something special about cooking outside. It's even more magical when food is cooked just yards from where it's grown and within minutes of being harvested. If you have grown onions this year, try cooking with them a little differently and make these easy-to-make onion bahjees. This is a family recipe from my grandmother. It takes practice to get the right consistency and to get the oil hot enough so the bahjees don't end up soggy. Cooking in a wok over a fire saves the kitchen from smelling like a spice market, but don't cook in hot oil in the rain.


  • 4 Onions thinly sliced
  • 350g Gram flour (chickpea flour)
  • 1 pinch of baking powder
  • 2tsp Tumeric
  • 2cm nub ginger
  • Chillies chopped, to taste
  • Fresh coriander chopped, including stems
  • Sea salt
  • Black pepper
  • 250ml Water
  • 4-6 cloves of garlic
  • a squeeze lemon juice
  • Sunflower or corn oil for deep frying


  • STEP 1

    Sift gram flour, turmeric and baking powder into a bowl.

  • STEP 2

    Add garlic, ginger, chillies, salt and pepper and mix well.

  • STEP 3

    Add water little by little, stirring all the time. Aiming for a consistency between pancake and cake mix.

  • STEP 4

    Add coriander and lemon juice.

  • STEP 5

    Heat the oil – it is ready when batter sinks and then rises after a few seconds

  • STEP 6

    Add onions – work quickly as they will release their liquid and make the mix to runny. Place several spoonfuls of mix into hot oil and let them sizzle for three minutes or until golden brown.

  • STEP 7

    Remove, and drain on a plate lined with kitchen paper.

Recipe Cleve West
Photos Andrew Montgomey