Baked Onion Bhajia – Vegan and Gluten Free

22 May

This recipe can have many names it just depends on what you wish to call it. Pakoras, pakodas, bhajia, Bhaji, savory muffins, pancakes…yes, I use the same batter to make breakfast pancakes. How cool is that :-).

goan-onion-pakoda-pakora-bhajias-recipe-besan-bhaji-bhajjiI have used the traditional Goan recipe for deep-fried bhajias. It is a common sight along the street in the evening. I remember the Aai(mom) who would make it just outside of the general store with a stove, deep-frying pan and newspaper that she wrapped the bhajias. On my recent visit to Margao in Goa I saw her daughter who does it now. The smell of deep-fried onions would make me drool on my walk back home from the bus stop during my college days.


Deep Fried Goan Onion Bhajia’s

The batter is made with gram flour (besan, chickpea flour, garbanzo bean flour), turmeric, ajwain or jeera(optional) and water. Sliced onions, overnight brine whole green chillies or slices of potatoes are added. You can spoon a small amount at a time and deep fry or bake like I did. This is a very common street food snack in Goa and perfect for those raining days with a nice cup of hot tea.

goan-onion-pakoda-pakora-bhajias-recipe-ingredients-gluten-free-savory-muffinsI made my baked onion bhajia in the muffin tin for its shape. I did not want to make the batter too thick and was not too sure of the shape if I had baked small scopes on a cookie sheet.

Serving Size: 11-12 muffins


goan-onion-pakoda-pakora-bhajias-recipe-ingredients1 cup gram flour

1/4 tsp of powder ajwain (optional – but good for digestion – antiflatulent)

1/4 tsp of turmeric (for color)

1/2 tsp of baking powder

1.5 sliced medium-sized white or red onions

1 jalapeno chopped

1/2 bunch of fresh chopped cilantro.

2Β  tbsp of oil

3/4 cup water

Salt to taste


Heat oven to 500F

Grease a muffin tin

In a mixing bowl add the first 4 dry ingredients, water and strip well to a smooth batter. Next add the onions, cilantro, jalapeno, oil and salt and mix well.

Spoon into muffin pan and bake for 8 minutes then flip the muffin and bake for another 8 minutes.


Eat it hot off the oven with a nice cup of milk tea. Cool and refrigerate the rest. Warm up and enjoy it for a quick healthy snack or a breakfast muffin.


102 Responses to “Baked Onion Bhajia – Vegan and Gluten Free”

  1. Jim May 22, 2015 at 4:16 pm #

    that looks good.

    • Nandini May 22, 2015 at 4:33 pm #

      Thank You Jim. You have a great weekend.

  2. sweetpea2love May 22, 2015 at 5:04 pm #

    Nandini, this looks wonderful and my family is going to love this so much I just know.. Thanking you kindly for the post.. Have a wonderful weekend my dear.. Take care, from Laura ~

    • Nandini May 22, 2015 at 5:17 pm #

      Thank You Laura so much for your kind words. I am happy to know. Please let me know how it goes when you make it. You too have a great long weekend.

  3. theequeenvee May 22, 2015 at 6:06 pm #

    Cannot wait to try this recipe! I’m getting so many good ideas!

    • Nandini May 22, 2015 at 6:30 pm #

      That is so awesome Victoria πŸ™‚

  4. Ann May 22, 2015 at 6:27 pm #

    Reminds me of Southern US cornbread muffins with jalapeΓ±o. Looks tasty!

    • Nandini May 22, 2015 at 6:32 pm #

      Those sound equally yum! πŸ™‚

    • stateeats May 25, 2015 at 3:31 pm #

      Yes! I agree. A fave treat around this household – Kat

  5. sarahjmir May 22, 2015 at 6:35 pm #

    this is AWESOME! I could totally see this is as being ‘high tea’ friendly – my family digs those. thanks for sharing!

    • Nandini May 23, 2015 at 10:14 am #

      Thank You So much Sarah. They are very fancy looking finger food and healthy. Should be perfect for high tea πŸ™‚

  6. mkcasey80 May 22, 2015 at 8:22 pm #

    This looks wonderful. I especially like that it’s baked and not fried. I plan on trying to make this next week.



    • Nandini May 23, 2015 at 10:15 am #

      That is so awesome Marcey. Please let me know how it works out πŸ™‚ .

      • mkcasey80 May 23, 2015 at 10:19 am #

        I am actually going to send you a photo if it turns out.

        • Nandini May 23, 2015 at 10:36 am #

          Sounds like a good plan Marcey πŸ™‚ .

  7. skd May 22, 2015 at 10:48 pm #

    The baked pakoras look so good. I am getting so inspired to experiment with different ingredients. Thank you for sharingπŸ‘πŸ˜‹

    • Nandini May 23, 2015 at 10:17 am #

      Thank you so much πŸ™‚ . You can definitely experiment with the base batter. Any veggies can be used.

      • skd May 23, 2015 at 10:32 am #

        I was thinking of sticking with the base batter and experiment with the veggies. And try its nonveg version too

        • Nandini May 23, 2015 at 10:36 am #

          It should work perfect πŸ™‚

  8. Harry...the Man! May 22, 2015 at 11:34 pm #

    Yes, thank you for this. I bet they are wonderful when served immediately.

    • Nandini May 23, 2015 at 10:18 am #

      Yes Harry they are awesome and it’s healthy too πŸ™‚

  9. lindaravello May 23, 2015 at 12:47 am #

    Well this hits my ‘jackpot’ I am off to buy onions at the market! I am not familiar with ‘cilantro’ (it looks like coriander in the picture?) and have never heard of ‘ajwain’ is it ready available everywhere? I could eat jalapenos til then ‘come out of my ears’…..

    • Nandini May 23, 2015 at 10:20 am #

      Lol! Linda I have a friend just like you who loves spicy :-). Yes, cilantro is fresh coriander. You can use cumin instead of ajwain as you may find it only in Indian marketplaces.

  10. Serena @ foodfulife May 23, 2015 at 2:11 am #

    Gorgeous recipe!! Fresh, spicy and sweet, with the onions, I love it!!!

    • Nandini May 23, 2015 at 10:21 am #

      You summed it well Serena πŸ™‚ . Thank you so much πŸ™‚

  11. studio6464 May 23, 2015 at 2:49 am #

    Reblogged this on Das CafΓ© Krefeld and commented:
    Hey Das CafΓ©, this looks yummy πŸ™‚

    • Nandini May 23, 2015 at 10:21 am #

      Thank You so much for the re-blog. That was very kind of you Ronnie πŸ™‚

  12. fabulousfannyjr May 23, 2015 at 3:19 am #

    Reblogged this on global_food.

    • Nandini May 23, 2015 at 10:22 am #

      Thank You so much for the re-blog. That was very sweet of you πŸ™‚ . Have a great weekend.

  13. peter May 23, 2015 at 4:27 am #

    Reblogged this on Bangkok Sarongs and commented:
    Be great with some hot lime pickle

    • Nandini May 23, 2015 at 10:23 am #

      Thank You Peter for the re-blog. That was very kind of you. Have a great weekend πŸ™‚ .

  14. STAN THE MAN May 23, 2015 at 4:28 am #

    Hi Nandini!
    These baked ONION BHAJIAS are MAGNIFICENT. I could have this for breakfast everyday, and still not get fed up. If My memory serves Me right, bhajias used to be prepared on the roadside in Margao, and Panjim. Probably, all over Goa and Bombay and other parts of India. In London, I go to Croydon and South Hall (Punjabi HOTSPOT) to have bhajias and other Indian goodies. You make recipes look STUNNING. The Mrs has fallen in LOVE with BHAJIAS. She likes this recipe because these bhajias are baked rather than deep fried. She is on the case. I think She feels it is healthier to bake than to to deep fry food. Again Your recipes takes Me down MEMORY LANE.. Oh! what a feeling. We in GB have an additional holiday this weekend. It is bank holiday weekend. Off monday. And finally, have a brilliant weekend.



    • Nandini May 23, 2015 at 10:29 am #

      Thank You so much Mr Stan. I am excited that Mrs Stan is going to try my recipe. Please let me know how it turns out. They still make them by the road sides in Goa πŸ™‚ . I too like them baked and have been enjoying it for breakfast this week. I am going to be making more. You enjoy your long weekend. We too have Monday off as memorial day. Regards to Mrs Stan as well. Take Care.

    • STAN the MAN May 26, 2015 at 2:32 pm #

      Hi Nandini!

      My Mrs tried out the BHAJIA’S, they turned out FABULOUS. What a TREAT on bank holiday monday. There was another Goan bloke called Ashton Noronha, Who I offered the Bhajia.s to. He thought the bhajia’s were FAB too. Thanks for sharing Your GENIUS with Us. Looking out for My next FIX on friday coming. ROLL ON FRIDAY.



      • Nandini May 28, 2015 at 3:39 pm #

        Thank You Mr Stan for the wonderful update and your kind words. I am so happy and thanks to Mrs Stan for trying out the recipe. Do convey my appreciations and regards to her πŸ™‚ .

  15. Arl's World May 23, 2015 at 6:27 am #

    They look delicious! I will have seconds! πŸ˜€

    • Nandini May 23, 2015 at 10:29 am #

      Sure Arl, come on over πŸ™‚ .

  16. vickidelbrouck May 23, 2015 at 6:47 am #

    Reblogged this on vickidelbrouck and commented:
    I can’t wait to try this!

    • Nandini May 23, 2015 at 10:31 am #

      Thank You so much Vicki for the re-blog. That was very kind of you. Please let me know who it turns out πŸ™‚ .

  17. Kitchen-Counter-Culture May 23, 2015 at 7:37 am #

    Love this, thank you. Brilliant as I hate frying.

    • Nandini May 23, 2015 at 10:32 am #

      Thank You so much. They are awesome even baked πŸ™‚ .

  18. teagan geneviene May 23, 2015 at 9:58 am #

    Wow… it sounds like something from heaven. Hugs!

    • Nandini May 23, 2015 at 10:33 am #

      Thank You so much Teagan. They are light and very satisfying :-). Hugs to you too!

  19. jmsabbagh May 23, 2015 at 10:43 am #

    Great recipe l gave it to my daughter who suffers from Lupus.She has to eat only Gluten Free free food.Best regards.

    • Nandini May 23, 2015 at 3:32 pm #

      Thank you so much Jalal. I hope she enjoys it.

  20. fromthefamilytable May 23, 2015 at 11:30 am #

    Beautiful little pastries. They would be perfect for a reception or a cocktail party. BTW, my daughter and son-in-law recently were guest chefs at a restaurant in Mumbai. They wanted to visit Goa but got too busy. Are there many similarities between Goan and Mumbai and South Indian foods? If you have a retail outlet, I will definitely visit it the next time I am in LA.

    • Nandini May 23, 2015 at 3:37 pm #

      Thank You so much Darryl. That is so awesome your daughter and son-in-law were in India. There is a difference in non-vegetarian dishes because of the Portuguese influence but I think the vegetarian dishes do have some similarities. As of now I am only online. Have a great long weekend.

  21. travelingmind2anywhere May 23, 2015 at 12:47 pm #

    OMG!!!!! Love those cute yummilicious muffins!

  22. stephysweetbakes May 23, 2015 at 8:03 pm #

    Looks amazing

    • Nandini May 25, 2015 at 4:49 pm #

      Thank You so much Stephy πŸ™‚

  23. Aquileana May 23, 2015 at 9:11 pm #

    You made me hungry… Great feature!, Yummy! best wishes. Aquileana ⭐

    • Nandini May 25, 2015 at 4:51 pm #

      Thank you Aquileana. That is very kind of you to say πŸ™‚

  24. terrepruitt May 24, 2015 at 1:24 am #

    Looks beautiful. Sounds pretty easy. I would only eat these for breakfast though, if I were not going out in public. πŸ™‚ A bit oniony!

    • Nandini May 25, 2015 at 4:54 pm #

      Thank You Terre. That is true I guess you will need a good strong Mint-O after it πŸ™‚

  25. Zahra May 24, 2015 at 3:41 am #

    Love this baked version of bhajia as I hate deep frying food – good to know you can stick them in the oven instead. I’ll definitely be giving this a go and passing the recipe on to my mum too!

    • Nandini May 25, 2015 at 4:58 pm #

      Thank You Zahra. It is a much healthier choice for sure. Please let me know how it goes πŸ™‚

  26. Experience Food Intl. May 24, 2015 at 8:41 am #

    Street food, finger food. . . This little muffin has the potential to go anywhere and be served with anything. Really like this recipe.

    • Nandini May 25, 2015 at 4:59 pm #

      Thank You so much Gina. That is true πŸ™‚

  27. edgarone2 May 24, 2015 at 5:25 pm #

    I have to eat one of those bhajias. Similar to Spanish empanadas?

    • Nandini May 25, 2015 at 5:02 pm #

      You have to definitely give it a try πŸ™‚

  28. Love Served Daily May 24, 2015 at 5:35 pm #

    This sounds very interesting

  29. lynne hoareau May 24, 2015 at 11:48 pm #

    Oh, these sound amazing ! What a different idea ! Can’t wait to bake these πŸ™‚

    • Nandini May 25, 2015 at 5:03 pm #

      Thank You Lynne. Please let me know when you do πŸ™‚

  30. thehourglassmommy May 25, 2015 at 7:51 am #

    They look out of a fancy restaurant menu! yum!

    • Nandini May 25, 2015 at 5:10 pm #

      Thank you so much for you generous compliment πŸ™‚

  31. thehutownerblog May 25, 2015 at 7:57 am #

    hello, I nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award, please see

    • Nandini May 25, 2015 at 5:11 pm #

      Thank You so much for the award. That is very king and generous of you πŸ™‚ .

  32. conniecockrell May 25, 2015 at 8:07 am #

    Sounds yummy!

    • Nandini May 25, 2015 at 5:13 pm #

      Thank You so much Connie πŸ™‚

  33. aFrankAngle May 25, 2015 at 8:47 am #

    New to me, but it seems delightful.

    • Nandini May 25, 2015 at 5:14 pm #

      Thank You and I am glad to know that πŸ™‚

  34. Smiling Notes May 25, 2015 at 7:47 pm #

    Wow!! This looks so yummy!! Looking forward to reading your blog.

    • Nandini May 28, 2015 at 3:33 pm #

      Thank You so much πŸ™‚

  35. Loretta May 26, 2015 at 11:10 am #

    Ooooo love bhajias, and your baked version is even more tempting. Like the idea of the muffin pan too πŸ™‚ Dunking it in nice hot coriander chutney would go down a treat πŸ™‚

    • Nandini May 28, 2015 at 3:35 pm #

      Oh yes….it would Loretta πŸ™‚

  36. sweetartisan May 28, 2015 at 9:06 am #

    Hi Nandini, thank you for stopping by my blog. I love the idea of baked Bhajias….hate the deep frying concept! Super! I am surely trying them out. Love…

    • Nandini May 28, 2015 at 3:50 pm #

      You are so welcome. That will be really awesome. Please let me know how it goes for you πŸ™‚

  37. epicesetbaobab May 28, 2015 at 10:42 am #

    Yum! really need to try this recipe asap!

  38. Cris May 31, 2015 at 12:29 am #

    I LOVE it! I need to check if I have all the ingredients to try it today. 😊

    • Nandini June 1, 2015 at 8:27 pm #

      Thank You Cris. I hope you do :-). Please let me know how it works out πŸ™‚

  39. saretap May 31, 2015 at 8:34 am #

    Wow, I’ve never even thought of making bhajis like this – will definitely try! Yum πŸ™‚

    • Nandini June 1, 2015 at 8:47 pm #

      That is very awesome. Let me know when you do πŸ™‚

  40. Mariposaoro June 19, 2015 at 5:38 pm #

    Oooh nice!! And limits the fat content by baking.. Didn’t know that they could be baked! Could I do this with a pakora recipe?

    • Nandini June 19, 2015 at 10:30 pm #

      Yes you sure can πŸ™‚

  41. scotpoldun June 25, 2015 at 5:45 am #

    Reblogged this on scotpoldun and commented:
    My mouth is actually watering at the thought of having these. When I get back from Poland I will definitely make a batch.

    • Nandini June 26, 2015 at 4:12 pm #

      Thank You so much for the re-blog. Much appreciated πŸ™‚

  42. ruthann1 June 29, 2015 at 8:09 am #

    Dear Nandini,
    Your blog is so intriguing. Bahajia’s look especially good to me because I’m working at finding new ways to fix vegetables. Thank you for “liking” our orange roughy with citrus sauce recipe at I’m looking forward to staying in touch

    RuthAnn Ridley
    From a Chore to a Joy

    • Nandini June 30, 2015 at 12:29 pm #

      Thank You much RuthAnn. You are so welcome :-). You have a great day.

  43. What's Bec Cooking July 2, 2015 at 5:33 am #

    That looks absolutely delicious!!
    Thanks so much for liking my first post. What a joy reading all your recipes. Look forward to trying some of your recipes very soon.

    • Nandini July 2, 2015 at 6:37 pm #

      You are very welcome Bec πŸ™‚ And Thank you so much.

  44. connoisseurista October 6, 2015 at 10:55 pm #

    I am a big fan of onion bhajias and this version his so healthy. I would have never imagined to make onion bhajias with just two spoon oil. Totally loved this recipe.
    Thanks for sharing it.

    • Nandini October 8, 2015 at 3:54 pm #

      You are so welcome. And Thank You so much for your kind words πŸ™‚

  45. Neetha October 28, 2015 at 9:24 am #

    Tried this recipe. It was so crispy and not greasy at all.. Thanks for sharing this recipe Nandini..

    • Nandini October 30, 2015 at 5:57 pm #

      Thank You Neetha. I truly appreciate you taking the time and writing your feedback. Have a great weekend πŸ™‚

  46. 2ndhalfolife February 12, 2016 at 4:45 pm #


    • Nandini February 12, 2016 at 5:39 pm #

      Thank You πŸ™‚

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