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Onion Bhaji Burger

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Onion bhaji burger with mint yogurt sauce and salad, on newspaper.

I don’t think I’m alone when I say I’m obsessed with onion bhajis. They have to be one of the best Indian starters, along with Punjabi samosa and paneer tikka. The only thing that could make onion bhajis better is serving them in a burger bun with crisp salad leaves, sweet chutneys, and creamy, herby, yogurt sauce. Yes, you heard me right: an onion bhaji burger.

I already have my signature recipe for gluten-free onion bhaji on the blog. It’s one of my reader’s all-time favorites. But here, I’ve adapted it slightly. This version is flatter, so there’s more surface area to crisp up. And they fit perfectly in the soft, slightly sweet burger buns.

Combine that with the tamarind chutney, which boasts a deep umami-rich flavor laced with caramel sweet overtones and slightly tangy notes, and you have a winner. Plus the mint yogurt sauce, to cool down the spices in the bhajis.

Need I say more? These bhaji. burgers will definitely become a new mealtime staple. Forget McD’s or KFC. You’ll be craving OMV bhaji burgers! Right, let’s get to it.

Onion bhaji burger on newspaper.

πŸ” Ingredients

The ingredients you’ll need to make this onion bhaji burger can be split into two categories. Firstly, the components for the burger bun β€” salad and chutneys. Don’t skip these! They add so much character to the Indian-style burger.

Here’s a shopping list for you (full ingredient quantities can be found in the recipe below):

  • Burger buns, of course! I love brioche but feel free to use buns that suit your dietary preferences, e.g. vegan or gluten-free. Indian-style milk bread (pav) would be delicious here too.
  • Mixed salad leaves brighten up the bhaji burger. I love baby gem or frisΓ©e lettuce leaves, but you could also use grated carrot, beetroot, tomato, red onion, or cucumber.
  • BIR (British Indian restaurant-style) yogurt mint sauce gives the bhaji burger a herby, creamy feel.
  • Tamarind chutney or mango chutney add sweetness. Mmm!

Now for that Onion Bhaji Mix …

Secondly, you’ll need the ingredients to make the actual onion bhajis. I already have a gluten-free onion bhaji recipe on this blog, but these are slightly different. Because they’re shallow-fried in a pan to make those semi-flat patties (exactly the right size to go in the burger!) we need a different ratio of ingredients.

Cook Indian food regularly? You’ll have most of these ingredients in your store cupboards. Otherwise, a quick trip to the Asian grocery store or Amazon will set you right!

  • Onion is the main ingredient for the onion bhajis. I use sweet white onions.
  • Gram flour (chickpea flour or besan) is the traditional gluten-free binding for onion bhajis. It also has a scrumptious nutty flavor.
  • Ground spices including turmeric, red chili, amchoor powder, and salt are all essential. These spices are responsible for the complex and moreish earthy, fiery, and tangy flavor palate in the bhajis.
  • Ajwain seeds are my secret for the best-tasting gluten-free onion bhajis. They’re herbal, thyme-scented, and slightly bitter.
  • Ginger garlic paste is a must for adding depth. I always use homemade ginger garlic paste.
  • Fresh coriander (cilantro for my U.S. readers) mixed through the bhajis provides a bright and zesty interest.
  • Water, just enough to bring the onion bhaji mixture together, is essential.
  • Oil for shallow frying the onion bhajis. Neutral oil with a high smoke point is preferable.

🌱 Can I Make Onion Bhaji Burgers Vegan?

Absolutely β€” it’s unbelievably straightforward to make this onion bhaji burger recipe vegan. First, pick a vegan burger bun β€” these should be available in most grocery stores.

Next, swap out the dairy-based yogurt in my BIR (British Indian restaurant-style) yogurt mint sauce for coconut or soy-based yogurt. That’s it. The onion bhajis and other chutneys are 100% vegan already. Wasn’t that easy?!

Plus, this onion bhaji burger recipe is nut-free and soy-free. It’s even easy to make bhaji burgers gluten-free. The onion bhaji is already gluten-free (we use gram flour/chickpea flour), so all you need to do is find a gluten-free burger bun.

Hand holding an onion bhaji burger cut open.

πŸ§‘β€πŸ³ How to Make Bhaji Burgers

Making onion bhaji burgers is a walk in the park. It’s far quicker than meat burgers, vada pav, or bean burgers β€” and easier, too.

You only need to follow these steps:

  1. Whip up the chutneys and set aside.
  2. Mix the batter for the onion bhajis by combining sliced onions, gram flour, and spices in a bowl.
  3. Shallow-fry the onion bhajis in a large, deep-sided frying pan until golden and crispy.
  4. Assemble the bhaji burgers by spooning on the chutneys, adding the lettuce leaves, and layering the onion bhajis.

More detailed instructions with timings can be found in the recipe card below.

Cookware You Need

πŸ’­ Expert Tips

I’ve made onion bhaji burgers more times than I can count, so I know all the secret tips and tricks for success.

The weak point for most people is cooking the bhajis. But fear not β€” with my recipe, you won’t have any stodgy, uncooked bhajis. These are crispy, golden brown, and full of flavor. But it’s important you follow the recipe precisely, and bear in mind these tips:

  • Warm the burger buns gently on a tawa. This stops the chutney from soaking into the bread and making it soggy!
  • Mix the onion bhaji batter with your hands. Massaging the onions draws out moisture and allows the spices to penetrate the batter. It’s messy but worth it β€” of course, use clean hands or kitchen gloves.
  • Add water slowly to ensure a lump-free batter.
  • Spoon into the oil roughly. It doesn’t matter if the onion bhaji patties aren’t evenly round. In fact, it’s those stray bits of onion making the bhaji burgers sooooo tantalizingly crispy. Just look at my photos!
Close-up of an onion bhaji burger with yogurt sauce, chutney, and salad.

⏳ Prepping Onion Bhaji Burgers (For Parties & Picnics!)

I love taking homemade food to the park for a picnic or sharing it with my friends and family on special occasions β€” and these bhaji burgers are sure to make a statement!

The various elements of the onion bhaji burgers can be made in advance, ideal for curry nights or parties. Plus, even if you don’t want to heat them, surprisingly, they taste great cold!

You can whip up the chutneys three days in advance (or buy them from the store, but homemade is always better!). Store them in an airtight jar in the refrigerator and spoon them onto the burger buns when ready to serve.

The onion bhaji can be cooked in advance too. Just cook as per the recipe, store in the refrigerator, and reheat in the oven, air-fryer, or a flat pan. I don’t recommend the microwave as you’ll lose all the gorgeously crispy and crunchy texture.

How to Store Bhaji Burgers

I advise assembling only as many as you plan to heat and storing the rest of the components separately: e.g. store the chutneys, burger buns, salad, and onion bhajis in the fridge until ready to assemble.

You can eat the bhaji burgers cold as well. Simply wrap them in sandwich paper and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

πŸ₯— Serving Suggestions

Is any burger complete without a side of fries? I think not! Hence, I usually serve this bhaji burger with garlic fries, waffle fries, or spicy potato wedges.

A huge side salad wouldn’t go awry here either. Keep the Indian fusion theme up with a more Western salad or stay traditional with methi gholana or kachumber β€” either option works.

Planning a party or event? Why not serve other Indian street food snacks or starters, like vegetable samosa, dahi puri chaat bombs, or kurkuri bhindi okra fries. Come on, you know you’re tempted!

πŸ“ This Onion Bhaji Burger Recipe Is:

  • Packed with flavor
  • Easily made vegan and gluten-free
  • Spread with tangy, sweet, spicy, and creamy chutneys
  • PERFECT for parties and picnics
  • Quick and easy to make
Onion bhaji burger with mint yogurt sauce and salad, on newspaper.

Onion Bhaji Burger

Yield: 2 - 4 Burgers
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

These Indian-fusion onion bhaji burgers have soft burger buns, crispy onion bhajis, sweet tamarind chutney, and herby yogurt sauce. Yum!

Ingredients

For the Burger

  • 2 Brioche Buns (or Vegan/GF alternative)
  • 4 tbsp Mint Yogurt Sauce
  • 2 tbsp Tamarind Chutney
  • Mixed Lettuce Leaves

For the Onion Bhajis

  • 200g Onion, sliced
  • 100g Gram Flour
  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Red Chili Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Amchoor Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Ginger Garlic Paste
  • Fresh Coriander, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp Ajwain Seeds
  • 100ml Water
  • 1 ltr Neutral Oil (to shallow fry)

Instructions

  1. Whip up the chutneys and set aside. You can also buy these!
  2. Mix the batter for the onion bhajis. In a large bowl, combine sliced onions with the herbs and spices listed. For the ajwain, crush it between your palms before adding. Next, add the gram flour and mix using your hands. Massage the mixture while slowly drizzling in water.
  3. Heat the oil to shallow fry the bhajis. In a large, deep-sided frying pan, heat oil over medium heat. Always exercise caution! Once the oil is hot (test it with a wooden skewer or spoon — if the oil bubbles around the wood, it's ready) carefully spoon the bhaji mixture, making patties about the size of your buns. Make four total. Don't overcrowd the pan, so cook in two batches if necessary.
  4. Cook until golden brown on one side, then gently turn and cook on the other side until golden brown. This may take around 10 minutes.
  5. Drain the onion bhajis on kitchen paper and turn off the stove.
  6. Assemble the onion bhaji burgers. Cut the buns in half and spoon tamarind chutney* onto the bottom side. Layer it up with salad leaves, then a bhaji. Spoon yogurt mint sauce on top, then another bhaji. Complete with more yogurt mint sauce, then the top bun. Repeat with the other burger**

Notes

* You can switch tamarind chutney to mango chutney if you prefer. This is a sweeter option.

** If you prefer, add only one bhaji per burger and make four burgers instead of two. I love the mammoth crunch effect with two though!

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 762Total Fat: 27gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 110mgSodium: 1086mgCarbohydrates: 111gFiber: 10gSugar: 40gProtein: 21g

Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.

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