Onion bhajis are a popular and delicious starter in Indian restaurants and common veggie fast food in supermarkets in the UK. They are basically onions in a gram flour batter which are deep fried in oil. Gram flour is made from chick peas. If I could get it, I would prefer to use broad (fava) bean flour which could be grown here in Norway. I have a lot of (bulb) onions left in the cellar, so decided to make some bhajis…..and with my cellar full of sprouting dandelions I decided to mix some dandelions into the batter for a slightly more healthy meal :)
Great to be home again to nutritious vegetarian food! Presenting this week’s two dishes, each lasting two days: dried broad bean falafels (with golpar spice) and a mixed cellar veggie wholegrain sourdough pizza with masses of forced dandelions and perennial kale shoots!
The first harvest at the KVANN vegetable sanctuary garden at Væres Venner was broad beans (bondebønner) from a mixed grex and this was turned into delicious falafels that almost melt in the mouth! The year’s first falafels or hummus is a real highlight of my gardening year…and did you know that the original falafels and hummus were made using broad (fava) beans, sadly replaced by inferior (in my opinion) chick peas….and we can experience this dish fresh even in cold areas where other beans won’t grow!
AND the colour is a natural beautiful green inside….they are often made with some leafy green vegetable added to supply the greeness of the “real” falafel!
NB! Falafel doesn’t have to be ball shaped and deep fried…these are pattie shaped and shallow fried..
Sand leek (rocambole) or Allium scorodoprasum gives bigger yields here than leeks, so it’s not surprising to learn that this perennial onion was probably cultivated by the Vikings (it is found naturalised near many old Viking settlements in Scandinavia) and I believe it is the original “geirlauk” (meaning spear onion) and the root of the word garlic in English… See also pages 215-217 in my book!
I hadn’t noticed the red base to the stems seen in these pictures before…
I used it in a quick scrambled egg dish together with Amish onion (Allium x proliferum), sorrel flower shoots, ground elder (Aegopodium), nettle (Urtica dioica), Hydrophyllum virginianum (water leaf) with golpar spice.
These pictures can also be seen on my 700 plus album of Allium pictures on Facebook here….http://www.edimentals.com/blog/?p=11254
Thanks to my visitors Berit Børte and Ane Mari Aakernes for this “lovely” omelette this evening….dandelion flower buds and fiddleheads, ramsons, chili and Heracleum persicum spice (golpar) in the omelette!
Indian bhajis are a popular snack or side dish in UK Indian restaurants…deep fried onions in a batter made of chick pea flour with various spices usually including cumin, coriander, black onion seed or kalonji (Nigella sativa), I replaced the cumin with golpar (ground seed of Heracleum persicum collected from a wild stand in Trondheim)! Delicious!
P.S: Mental note: try with broad bean flour!
I like to cook on the wood burning stove in winter…here’s a scene from the preparation of last night’s home grown veggie curry with Basella, Swiss chard, the two leeks I managed to dig up from the frozen ground, onion, garlic, dried chantarelles and winter chantarelles, apple, chili, coriander, golpar (Heracleum persicum spice) served with onion bhaji and rye (svedjerug) “rice”…it doesn’t get much better
Heracleum persicum is a giant umbellifer, very closely related to Giant Hogweed another very closely related invasive of more southerly latitudes. We call it Tromsøpalme here as these giant plants might resemble palm trees from afar where they grow in large quantities in the arctic city of Tromsø. I today harvested seed of one last plant remaining after the kommune had strimmed a small coastline stand of this plant, presumably spreading seed everywhere….
The seed is used as an important spice in Iran, something I learned from my friend Saideh Salamati who I credited in my book (she also made an excellent dish of the young shoots at a gathering of foragers here in June). I nowadays use more golpar in my cooking than any other spice…delicious and free!