It's the weekend and you're craving an Indian delight. Aromatic flavours, wonderful spice combinations and an urge to start with Vegan Butternut squash Bhajis! So, instead of ordering a take away (that will probably arrive cold) why not make them? With this simple but delicious recipe all your taste buds needs will be satisfied.

Packed full of spinach, onions, butternut squash, garlic and ginger, these crispy fried Bhajis are simple to make and extremely cheap to produce.

I used a soya based Vegan yoghurt with this recipe and it worked really well, adding some lime juice gave a little tartness to it like a fresh dairy yogurt, the spring onions add some fresh crunchy texture.

The good thing about these Bhajis is that they can be made ahead of time and even frozen, just a little reheat in the oven and their ready to go, double up the recipe, make loads of them and snack on them any time, lunch bites for work or just a addition to your takeaway.

Their Gluten free, hassle free and tasty, this recipes will make 10 large Bhajis but they will definitely work really well as little bite size portions.

What I also really love that your are not restricted with ingredients if you fancy pimping them up with other flavours like left over meats from your Sunday roast or different vegetable options, just chopped down a bit a mix straight in to the finished batter mix.
You wont buy in Bhajis in again!!

Yields10 Servings
Prep Time30 minsCook Time20 minsTotal Time50 mins

 50 g Baby leaf spinachclick
 300 g White onions, sliced thinclick
 ½ Red chilliesclick
 250 g Butternut squashclick
 1 tbsp Smoked paprika
 2 l Vegetable oil
 1 tbsp Garlic pureeclick
 1 tbsp Ginger pureeclick
 Salt and pepper
 350 g Gram flour
 ¾ pt Cold water
Dip
 5 tbsp Soya based vegan yogurt
 1 lime, zest and juice
 75 g Spring onions, finely chopped and washed

1

Start by making the vegetable mix for the batter.
Peel, chop the onions in half and slice as thin as you can, if you have a mandoline even better.
Wash and drain the baby spinach.
Peel and grate the butternut squash.
Slice the chilli in half remove the seeds (if you want them hotter leave the seeds in) and dice small.
Place all in a large mixing bowl.

2

In a small non stick frying pan on a low heat, gently toast the spices, being careful not to burn, you'll know when they're ready, those beautiful aromas fill the room. I like to use a Tandoori spice because of the wonderful deep red finish but a mild curry powder will work just as well, its up to you!
Tip them straight in to the mixing bowl with the prepped vegetables.
Now add puréed ginger and garlic, a large teaspoon of each. I always have some in the fridge ready to go. It's easy to store and last weeks, puree with a vegetable oil as this will keep them fresher for longer and store in a old jam jar.

3

Gram flour is literally ground chickpeas and is so versatile, used a lot in Asian cooking and of course gluten free!
Add the gram flour and cold water to the vegetable mix.
Mix thoroughly, I like to use my hands and really get in there, helping break down the prepped veg a little and work out the lumps. Season well with salt and pepper.
At this point it may seem a little wet but no need to worry, leave it stand for 20 minutes and allow to thicken, you should be able to use a large serving to scoop out the mix without it all just pouring off, add a little more gram flour if needed.

4

Whilst you're waiting for the batter to thicken, pour 2 liters of vegetable oil in to a large saucepan on a low heat.

To prepare your yoghurt dip start by finely chopping the spring onions and place in to small mixing bowl. Add the zest and juice of 1 lime, salt and pepper and mix well.
Spoon in the vegan yogurt adding just enough to bind it all together, creating a textured salsa type consistency.

5

Test your oil by dropping a little mix in, if they darken to quickly turn down and wait.
Depending on the size you want them they should take rough 8-10 minutes to cook.
Do not worry if they brown to quickly you can always finish in the oven.
To test gently pull one apart and check the batter has cooked.
Remove from the oil on to kitchen towel and season straight away with salt.
That's it, simple, ready to go and amazing eaten straight away.
Enjoy!

6

Tip
Careful not to over fill the pan with the Bhaji mix, this will just reduce the temperature of the oil and you will end up with soggy mess!!

Ingredients

 50 g Baby leaf spinachclick
 300 g White onions, sliced thinclick
 ½ Red chilliesclick
 250 g Butternut squashclick
 1 tbsp Smoked paprika
 2 l Vegetable oil
 1 tbsp Garlic pureeclick
 1 tbsp Ginger pureeclick
 Salt and pepper
 350 g Gram flour
 ¾ pt Cold water
Dip
 5 tbsp Soya based vegan yogurt
 1 lime, zest and juice
 75 g Spring onions, finely chopped and washed

Directions

1

Start by making the vegetable mix for the batter.
Peel, chop the onions in half and slice as thin as you can, if you have a mandoline even better.
Wash and drain the baby spinach.
Peel and grate the butternut squash.
Slice the chilli in half remove the seeds (if you want them hotter leave the seeds in) and dice small.
Place all in a large mixing bowl.

2

In a small non stick frying pan on a low heat, gently toast the spices, being careful not to burn, you'll know when they're ready, those beautiful aromas fill the room. I like to use a Tandoori spice because of the wonderful deep red finish but a mild curry powder will work just as well, its up to you!
Tip them straight in to the mixing bowl with the prepped vegetables.
Now add puréed ginger and garlic, a large teaspoon of each. I always have some in the fridge ready to go. It's easy to store and last weeks, puree with a vegetable oil as this will keep them fresher for longer and store in a old jam jar.

3

Gram flour is literally ground chickpeas and is so versatile, used a lot in Asian cooking and of course gluten free!
Add the gram flour and cold water to the vegetable mix.
Mix thoroughly, I like to use my hands and really get in there, helping break down the prepped veg a little and work out the lumps. Season well with salt and pepper.
At this point it may seem a little wet but no need to worry, leave it stand for 20 minutes and allow to thicken, you should be able to use a large serving to scoop out the mix without it all just pouring off, add a little more gram flour if needed.

4

Whilst you're waiting for the batter to thicken, pour 2 liters of vegetable oil in to a large saucepan on a low heat.

To prepare your yoghurt dip start by finely chopping the spring onions and place in to small mixing bowl. Add the zest and juice of 1 lime, salt and pepper and mix well.
Spoon in the vegan yogurt adding just enough to bind it all together, creating a textured salsa type consistency.

5

Test your oil by dropping a little mix in, if they darken to quickly turn down and wait.
Depending on the size you want them they should take rough 8-10 minutes to cook.
Do not worry if they brown to quickly you can always finish in the oven.
To test gently pull one apart and check the batter has cooked.
Remove from the oil on to kitchen towel and season straight away with salt.
That's it, simple, ready to go and amazing eaten straight away.
Enjoy!

6

Tip
Careful not to over fill the pan with the Bhaji mix, this will just reduce the temperature of the oil and you will end up with soggy mess!!

Crispy fried butternut squash and spinach bhajis with vegan yoghurt, spring onion and lime dip