GET THE RECIPE: Bhajis and Spiced Tomato Chutney by Eminé Ali Rushton

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One of our healthy foodie must-reads of the year is The Body Balance Diet Plan by Eminé Ali Rushton –  not only does it offer fantastic nutritional advice, but it also features some great plant-based, healthy recipes with exotic flavours. If you’re a fan of Asian cuisine, get your chops around the delicious recipe below!

This is a recipe for mushroom bhajis- however, you can use the spiced gram flour batter for classic onion bhajis, little egg, vegetable pakora, or even paneer – so it’s a useful utility recipe and you can tweak your spices to suit your preference. These golden, crisp, shroomy handhelds work brilliantly with the boldly spiced, garlicky tomato chutney below and make a great accompaniment to any curry or dal. We like to shallow fry it, as we believe it produces a fresher, lighter bhaji or pakora. A surprising family favourite on this theme is our halloumi / hellim, mint leaf and onion pakora, made with the same batter – it’s truly an incredible combination. Feta also works really well as a sub for the halloumi, but under Ayurveda, cheese is not best paired with tomato.


For the bhajis:

  • 80g gram flour / chickpea flour
  • 3 tbsp of ghee
  • ½ tsp of cumin seed
  • ½ tsp of ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp of ground coriander
  • 1 handful of fresh coriander
  • 1 large onion
  • 6 / 7 medium sized chestnut mushrooms or equivalent volume of chanterelles or girolles
  • Sea salt

For the chutney:

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin coconut oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 4 / 5 fenugreek seeds
  • ½ tsp of cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp nigella seeds
  • ½ thumb sized piece of fresh peeled ginger
  • ½ thumb sized piece of fresh peeled turmeric / ½ tsp of ground turmeric
  • ½ tsp hot chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 large ripe tomatoes
  • 1 tsp of palm sugar / unrefined sugar
  • 5 curry leaves
  • A good pinch of sea salt and good grind of black pepper


For the chutney:

  1. Prepare your chutney first, as the bhajis are best served immediately. Toast your cumin, fenugreek and nigella seeds in a dry hot pan until they fragrance your kitchen or for a minute or so.
  2. Sprinkle your seeds into a food processor and add all the other ingredients barring the coconut oil and curry leaves. Blitz to a coarse paste.
  3. Warm your coconut oil in a small saucepan. Add your paste and the curry leaves and cook on a low bubble for 20 minutes or so. Allow to cool and you are ready to serve. Leftovers will sit happily in your fridge for a few weeks, great stirred into curries or for homemade papad or tortilla dipping

For the bhajis:

  1. For the bhajis thinly slice your mushrooms and onion and fry in a tbsp of your warmed ghee with the cumin seed and a good pinch of sea salt until the mushrooms give out their liquid and then draw it in again and the onions soften and turn translucent
  2. Add your gram flour to a bowl and beat in small amounts of water until you have a texture that thickly coats a finger
  3. Add the turmeric and coriander, ground and fresh with your mushrooms and onions and stir to an even mix
  4. Heat 2 tbsp of ghee in your frying pan to smoking hot and add your mix in heaped dessert spoons. When one side has crisped and coloured to golden turn your bhaji with a spoon and cook the other side to the same. Remove to a vessel lined with kitchen paper. Repeat until your mix is used up. Serve hot with your chutney

WHAT I’M EATING NOW:   Eminé Ali Rushton, Author of The Balance Body Diet Plan