© David Loftus
vegetable bhaji salad
This is a twist on the onion bhaji you get at your local curry house – great with the soured cream dressing!
Put the flours and ground spices in a bowl and slowly pour in 250ml water. Stir with a wooden spoon or a whisk to make a bright yellow batter. Add the salt, then put to one side.
Cut the cucumber into long ribbons with a speed peeler and keep to one side. To make a dressing, mix the soured cream with the coriander and the juice of 1 of the lemons. Add a splash of olive oil, season, and put to one side.
Cut the leek, carrots, spring onions and red onions into thin strips - try to get them the size of long matchsticks. Mix with the chillies and the ginger.
Pour the oil into a large non-stick frying pan and heat until very hot. Mix the vegetables, a little at a time, with some of the batter. Add a pinch of mustard seeds and scoop out a tablespoon of the coated vegetables. Press flat with the back of a fork and carefully drop into the hot oil. Repeat with the remaining vegetables - you may have to fry the bhajis in batches. Move them around a little in the hot oil (with a pair of tongs) to make sure they aren't sticking together. Fry for a minute or so on each side until crispy, then drain on kitchen paper. Place some rocket and cucumber ribbons on individual plates, drizzle with the soured cream dressing and top with 2 or 3 bhajis. Serve with the lemon wedges.
• 75g chickpea flour
• 75g plain four
• 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
• 1 teaspoon ground cumin
• 1/2 teaspoon paprika or chilli powder
• 1/2 level teaspoon of salt
• 1 small cucumber
• 50ml soured cream
a small bunch of fresh coriander, leaves chopped
• 2 lemons, 1 cut into wedges
• olive oil
• salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 1 leek
• 2 carrots
• 3 spring onions, trimmed
• 2 red onions
• 2 fresh red chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
• 2.5cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
• 150ml vegetable oil
• 100g rocket, washed and spun dry