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Cauliflower bhajis with tomato chutney

23 October 2018

Cauliflower bhajis dipped in a sweet and spicy tomato chutney make good finger food for parties or can be served as a starter.

Cauliflower bhajis with tomato chutney
Cauliflower bhajis with tomato chutney

Preparation time

30 minutes

Cooking time

10 minutes




For the cauliflower bhajies

  • 130g (4½ oz) chickpea (gram) flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt, plus extra to season
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 700 ml (1 lb 9 oz) sunflower oil
  • ½ head of cauliflower, (about 500 g/1 lb 2 oz) broken into florets, soaked in water with 1 teaspoon salt for 30 minutes, then drained and patted dry
  • Salt
  • Tomato chutney (see below if making yourself), to serve

For the tomato chutney

  • 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) mixed-colour cherry tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 250 g (9 oz) red onion, thinly sliced
  • 80 ml (2¾ fl oz/⅓ cup) raspberry wine or red wine vinegar
  • ½ dried anjo or habanero chilli, finely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon salt


Make a batter by whisking together the flour, salt, baking powder, cumin seeds and 125 ml (4⅓ fl oz/½ cup) water in a bowl.

Heat the oil in a small saucepan or wok over high heat. Test the temperature by dropping a little batter into the oil – it should quickly spring up to the surface.

Dip all the cauliflower pieces into the batter and fry in batches until golden brown.

Season generously with salt, then serve with the chutney on side.

To make the tomato chutney

Put all the ingredients into a pan and stir well to combine. Simmer for 30–40 minutes, or until jammy. Pour into a sterilised jar, seal and store in the refrigerator for up to a week.


Vegetarian Party Food by Jessica Oldfield (Hardie Grant, £12.99) Photography © Beatriz Da Costa

Visit our canapé section for more party food recipes


The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated. The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.