Gluten-free bhajis with a dairy-free mango and mint dip
Party season snack tables are rarely a place of plenty if you have a free-from diet – but here's a fresh, winning combo
If you are ripping your hair out over what to offer your guest this holiday season, Indian snacks can be a good option because samosas and bhajis are traditionally made with gram flour, though it is becoming more difficult to find versions that don't also include wheat flour. These bhajis are gluten-free, and when served with the tangy dairy-free mango and mint dip create a compelling party combination, suitable for a host of free-from needs. If you need to save time, everything can be made the day before and the bhajis reheated as necessary.
For the bhajis
2 medium leeks
1 tbsp olive oil
100g gram (chickpea) flour
1 tsp ground turmeric
½ tsp ground coriander
½ tsp ground cumin
A pinch of salt
2 tsp mango chutney
2 tsp tomato puree
Olive oil for drizzling
For the dip
100g plain soya yoghurt
Half a mango
1 tbsp mango chutney
5 fresh mint leaves
1 Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Wash and prepare the cauliflower and leeks. Dice the cauliflower into tiny pieces; cut the leeks lengthwise and then into thin slices. Fry gently in the olive oil for 5 minutes until the vegetables are just soft.
2 Put the gram flour, spices and salt in a bowl. Add the water, chutney and tomato puree and mix to a smooth paste. Add the fried vegetables and stir until everything is well coated.
3 Drizzle olive oil across a baking tray and distribute it evenly across the tray with a spoon. Dollop the bhaji mix on the tray 1 tbsp at a time. Flatten them a little with the back of a spoon. Drizzle a little more oil over the top.
4 Bake for 10-15 minutes until they brown a little. Take the tray from the oven, move the tray from side to side to redistribute the oil, and then flip each bhaji over using a fish slice. Bake for a further 10-15 minutes until well browned and glistening. The bhajis can be eaten hot or cold.
5 Make the dip by placing all the ingredients in a bowl and whizzing with a stick blender. Refrigerate for up to a day before serving, if necessary.