Bhaji: A Delightful Snack from the Indian Subcontinent

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Bhaji, a popular snack originating from the Indian subcontinent, is a type of fritter made from spicy hot vegetables, commonly onion. With its roots in India, Pakistan, Nepal, and Bangladesh, this snack has found its way into various cultures and regions, including the United Kingdom, where it is a common starter in Anglo-Indian cuisine.

Source: asaucykitchen

Regional Varieties

Outside of Southern and Western India, these preparations are often referred to as pakora. The bhaji has several variations, such as chili bajji, potato bajji, onion bajji, plantain bajji, and bread bajji. In South India, another version known as bonda is prevalent, while in Maharashtra, it’s called vada, and in Gujarat, it’s known as Gota. The bonda typically has a potato or mixed vegetable filling, whereas Gota is made using green fenugreek leaves.

Cultural Significance

Bhajis hold a special place in traditional Punjabi, Pakistani, Gujarati, Marathi, Tamil, Kannada, and Telugu cuisines. They are often served on special occasions and during festivals. Typically accompanied by coffee, tea, or a traditional serving of yameen, these fritters are also made using banana peppers, known as mirchi bhajji. In Anglo-Indian restaurants, onion bhajis are a popular starter, usually served with poppadoms and other Indian snacks. They might be accompanied by a side of salad, a slice of lemon, or mango chutney, and are traditionally made to have a mild taste.

Source: tastingtable


Bhaji, with its rich history and cultural significance, remains a beloved snack across various regions. Its versatility and adaptability have made it a favourite among many, transcending borders and bringing a taste of the Indian subcontinent to the world.


Article curated by Suwaytha Gopal