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Often confused with Pakoras, the Bhajji is a popular snack item across the continent and there are many varieties. The basic principle is a spiced Besan flour batter into which any variety of vegetable pieces are dropped and mixed to form a thick lumpy batter. Spoonfuls of the mix are then deep fried until dark golden. The resultant Bhajjis are then drained and served, properly with chutneys, but often in restaurants with a salad. An alternate method is to take thin slices of the vegetable and individually dip them in the batter and fry them. This works well with potatoes and large aubergine where you would use thin uncooked slices. Technically, Pakoras are made slightly differently but the result is similar.
- 1 cup Besan (gram) flour
- 1 tbsp. rice flour
- 1 tsp. chilli powder
- 1/2 tsp. turmeric
- Pinch asafoetida
- 1/4 tsp. Bicarb of Soda
- Salt to taste
- 2 tbsp. Vegetable oil or Ghee, heated
- Additional oil for deep frying
- Optional, tsp. cummin seed
- Try the following fillings:
- Onion Rings- the classic onion Bhajji
- Any crisp vegetable such as cauliflower, carrot (shredded), celery or try apple, pear etc. Chop into cubes.
- Fresh Green Chillies. Try the very large ones found in Asian supermarkets and normally used in salads. Deseeded if wished and use whole if small or cut into 4 if large.
- Cooked potato, cubed.
- Raw potato, sliced thin.
- Cooked chicken, cubed.
- Cooked prawns.
- A mixture of fillings.
- Sieve and mix together the flours.
- Add chili powder, turmeric, asafoetida, bicarb, salt, cummin seed (optional) and mix
- Add water and mix to a thick batter. Rest for 5 minutes.
- Add hot oil to batter with filling ingredients and mix to form lumpy batter..
- Heat frying oil in wok or similar.
- Using a spoon take a golf ball sized measure of the batter mixture and drop into the deep hot fat. Wait for oil to reheat before adding next measure. Do not overcrowd the pan.
- Move the Bhajji around in the pan so that they cook evenly to a deep golden brown. Remove with slotted spoon and drain.
- Keep the oil clean by removing any left over bits of batter so they do not burn.
- Check your first Bhajji by cutting in half and ensuring that the batter is set in the middle. Adjust cooking times for the rest accordingly or make the Bhajji bigger or smaller as necessary to achieve a deep golden brown colour that is cooked all the way through.
- Serve with a coconut chutney or a fresh coriander chutney