Bajjis are a very popular tea-time snack in India, perfect on a rainy day. They are made with just about anything – onions, long green chillies/mirchi, potatoes, bread, cabbage, spinach, tamalapaaku/beetel leaf to name a few. Though, ‘Onion Bajji’ and ‘Mirchi Bajji’ are the most popular.
In childhood days back home, during the onset of the monsoon season, me and my bro used to make paper boats and watch them move through the rain water streams while waiting for hot bajjis being prepared by mom. Miss those days when life was so simple.
Here in Connecticut, it still doesn’t look like summer has arrived. This whole week was gloomy, cloudy with frequent showers. So, finally to brighten up our day myself and hubby made some onion and potato bajjis. Let me get to the recipe now.
Prep + Cooking time: 35 mins
Serves: 3 or 4
- Onions – 1 large, thinly chopped length-wise
- Potatoes – 1 large, thinly sliced like you’d do for potato chips
- Besan/Gram flour – 2 cups
- Green chillies – 3 or 4, finely chopped
- Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
- Red Chilli powder – 1n1/2 tsp
- Salt – 1n1/2 tsp or as per taste
- Ginger-garlic paste – 3/4th tsp
- Coriander/Cilantro – a handful – finely chopped
- Curry leaves – a handful – finely chopped (optional)
- Water – 1n1/2 tsp
1. In a wide mixing bowl, take besan/gram flour. Add all the spices in the ingredients list. Mix well. Now, add green chillies, coriander leaves and curry leaves. Add water half-cup at a time, mixing all the contents well to form a batter. The batter should not be too watery. The consistency should be such that it is able to hold the onions together. At the same time it shouldn’t be too thick. An appropriate example would be pancake batter I guess.
2. Give a taste test at this point. Adjust salt and chilli powder if needed.
3. Place a kadai/baandi/skillet for deep frying on the stove. Add oil just enough to cover the bajjis. Heat the oil at-least for 15 mins to get the right temperature. Check if the oil is ready by dropping a small dot of batter and see if it immediately rises.
4. Get the onions and potatoes ready while heating the oil. Now, for onion bajjis, add the chopped onions to the batter. Make fist-size balls and drop in to the oil. Add about 5 or 6 for each batch but making sure not to overcrowd the skillet. Let them fry until golden brown on each side so that the batter inside as well as the onions are well cooked. It should take about 5 to 7 minutes for each batch. Repeat the same with potatoes or any other ingredient you choose to go with.
5. Ready a bowl/plate by placing some hand paper towels in it so that it soaks-up any excess oil from the bajjis. Remove from the skillet and carefully place into the serving bowl.
Enjoy warm with some hot&sweet ketchup alongside chai (traditional Indian tea).