This healthier chicken tikka masala recipe is adapted from The Curry Guy Light by Dan Toombs (£15, Quadrille). Buy it here.

Dan says: "Deep-frying onion bhajis is a fatty option, and there’s a lot of mess to clean up. I developed this recipe using traditional curry house techniques to make the perfect batter. The sliced onions are salted to release moisture and to soften them, then the remaining ingredients are mixed in. The resulting bhajis are crisp and delicious!"


  • 3 large (about 600g) onions
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2½cm piece ginger, cut into matchsticks
  • ¼ tsp ground turmeric
  • ¾ tsp ground coriander
  • small bunch coriander, finely chopped to make 3 tbsp
  • 2 green bird’s-eye chillies, finely chopped
  • ¼ tsp kashmiri chilli powder, (see cook's notes below)
  • 100g gram flour
  • 1½ tbsp rapeseed oil
  • chutney or raita, to serve


  • STEP 1

    Peel and finely slice the onions. Cut each slice into 3cm pieces. Put the onions in a bowl and sprinkle with the salt, mixing very well with clean hands. Allow to sit for at least 30 minutes or up to 3 hours. When ready to form the bhajis, squeeze the onions to release the water into the bowl. In the same bowl, add the remaining ingredients up to and including the chilli powder, and give everything a good stir.

  • STEP 2

    Now sift the gram flour over the onion mixture and mix well. There should be enough water released from the salted onions to form a batter that sticks the onions together. If too dry, add a drop of water. Mix in the rapeseed oil with your hands so that the onions are evenly coated.

  • STEP 3

    Heat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Line a baking tray with a sheet of baking paper (do not use foil as the bhajis will stick to it). Using a spoon or clean hands, make 20 equal-sized onion balls and place them on the baking paper. Bake for 40 minutes or until nicely browned. Serve with a good chutney and/or raita.

Cook's notes

  • Kashmiri chilli powder have a mild heat that gives food a vivid red colour.

Head here for healthy chicken curry recipes

Sri Lankan Cashew Nut Chicken Curry Recipe

Comments, questions and tips

Rate this recipe

What is your star rating out of 5?

Choose the type of message you'd like to post

Choose the type of message you'd like to post

Overall rating

A star rating of 4.3 out of 5.3 ratings