Courgette bhaji with nasturtiums and chilli

8, but with extra bhajis leftover
30 minutes


  • 5 courgettes, medium
  • 170g of gram flour
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds, crushed
  • 15g of salt, plus extra for seasoning
  • 80ml of sparkling water
  • 1l sunflower oil, for deep-frying
  • 1 dash of rapeseed oil
  • 1 knob of unsalted butter
  • chilli oil, for brushing and drizzling
  • nasturtium leaves, and flowers, to garnish
  • 100g of thick yoghurt
  • 1 tbsp of mint leaves, finely chopped


Peel and coarsely grate 4 of the courgettes, reserving the peelings. Toss the grated courgette flesh with the salt and set aside
Add the rapeseed oil and butter to a frying pan over a high heat, then add the courgette peelings. Sauté, covered, until the peelings are tender (about 5 minutes). Transfer to a blender and blitz until smooth, then season and set aside
Preheat an oven to 180°C/gas mark 4. Slice the remaining whole courgette into thick rounds, season, then place in a single layer on a baking tray. Brush with chilli oil, then roast until soft and just beginning to char
Meanwhile, squeeze the grated courgette mixture to remove as much liquid as possible, then mix with the gram flour, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin and sparkling water to create a batter. Pour the sunflower oil into a large saucepan and heat to 175°C
Working in batches, use a tablespoon to scoop a spoonful of the courgette mixture into the hot oil and fry for a minute or so each side until golden brown. Drain on kitchen paper as you go
To serve, mix the mint leaves into the thick yoghurt. Place a spoonful of the courgette purée in the base of a bowl. Top with a slice of roasted courgette, then add a small spoonful of yoghurt. Place a bhaji (or several) above it. Dress with another drizzle of chilli oil, then garnish with nasturtium flowers and leaves