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    Cavolo nero bhajia with fresh tomato chutney

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    Cavolo nero bhajia with fresh tomato chutney

    • Preparation time: 20 minutes + resting
    • Cooking time: 15 minutes
    • Total time: 35 minutes + resting

    Serves: 4-6 as a starter (makes 30 bhajia)


    4 cloves garlic, peeled
    30g fresh ginger, peeled
    2 green chillies
    200g pack cavolo nero, stalks discarded, leaves washed and finely shredded
    1 tsp turmeric
    200g gram flour, plus extra if needed
    50g rice flour
    ½ tsp caster sugar, plus extra to season
    4 tomatoes, coarsely grated and skins discarded (or finely chopped)
    25g pack coriander, finely chopped
    ½ tsp ground cumin
    Sunflower oil, for deep frying 


    1. Put the garlic, ginger and chillies in a food processor. Whizz until finely chopped, then tip into a large bowl with the cavolo nero.

    2. Add the turmeric, gram flour, rice flour, sugar, 1 tsp salt and 75-100ml cold water to the bowl. Mix well to combine, then set aside for 10 minutes.

    3. Meanwhile, mix the tomatoes with the coriander and cumin. Season with a pinch of salt and sugar.

    4. Pour enough oil into a large saucepan to reach a depth of 5cm. Heat on medium for 30 seconds, or until a small piece of bread browns. Meanwhile, taste the bhajia mixture for seasoning, then shape and squeeze it into walnut-sized balls. The mixture should hold together easily – add a little more gram flour or water as needed. Fry the bhajia in batches, for 4-5 minutes, turning regularly, until golden and crisp. Serve with the tomato chutney. 

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    Cook’s tip The chutney can be made ahead of time, covered and chilled for 1 day. The bhajia are best eaten just after frying, but if needed they will keep for 2 days, chilled in the fridge in an airtight container. Reheat in the oven until piping hot.


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