Brussels Bhajis

Cooking time
Serves4-6 people
Brussels Bhajis

Trimming Brussels sprouts for Christmas Day dinner? Keep the leaves you pull off the sprouts. They might look a little ragged. But they're still tasty. Coat them in an aromatic gram flour and coconut batter. Deep-fry till crisp. Serve with a bowl of raita for dunking. The perfect Christmas Eve snack.

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  • Leftover leaves from 400g Brussels sprouts, approximately 75g
  • 1 red onion
  • 100g gram flour
  • 45g desiccated coconut
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • ½ tsp chilli powder
  • A handful of coriander
  • Yogurt or raita, to serve

Prep: 5 mins | Cook: 15-20 mins

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1. When you peel any ragged leaves off your Brussels sprouts, put them to one side. They will keep in your fridge for 1-2 days. When you're ready to make the bhajis, give the leaves a rinse and then roughly chop them. Pop them in a large mixing bowl. Trim, peel and finely slice the red onion. Add to the bowl.
2. Tip the gram flour and desiccated coconut into a separate bowl. Add the ground cumin, coriander, turmeric and chilli powder with a pinch of salt. Whisk to combine. Slowly whisk in 250-300ml cold water, 2-3 tbsp at a time, till you have a smooth batter with a dropping consistency. Scoop the Brussels leaves and red onion and stir to coat in the batter. Set aside for 30 mins to rest (cover the bowl with a clean tea towel).
3. Pour enough oil into a small frying pan so it's around 1cm deep and set on a medium-high heat. Heat the oil to 180°C – if you have a kitchen thermometer you can use that to track the temperature. Otherwise, drop a cube of bread into the oil after 2-3 mins. It should bubble and start to brown after 30 secs.
4. Scoop 1 tbsp out of the bhaji mixture and carefully drop into the hot oil. Repeat to add 4-5 bhajis to the pan. Fry for 3-4 mins, turning them over in the hot oil, till browned and crisp all over. Lift out of the pan with a slotted spoon and transfer to a plate lined with kitchen paper. Repeat till you have used up all the batter.
5. Arrange the bhajis on a serving plate. Tear over a handful of coriander leaves to garnish. Serve with a bowl of yogurt or raita for dunking.
6. Make Your Own Raita
To make your own raita to go with the bhajis, coarsely grate 100g chunk of cucumber, then tip into a sieve and squeeze to squeeze out as much water as possible. Tip into a bowl. Add a handful of chopped mint leaves and 2 tsp toasted cumin seeds. Stir in enough yogurt to make a loose sauce, and season with a pinch of salt or squeeze of lemon juice.
7. The Big Brussels
If you don't have any leftover leaves, you can make these with actual Brussels sprouts. Simply trim and shred 200g Brussels sprouts, then follow the recipe.
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An excellent way to use sprouts