Mixed Vegetable bajji / Indian vegetable fritters

South Indian style mixed vegetable bajji is a popular snack where vegetables are dipped in gram flour batter with spices. Bajji means fritters. For bajjis, you can use raw banana, potato, bell pepper, chillies, brinjal, cauliflower, onion, etc. You can easily find stalls selling them in Chennai Marina beach, small tea shops in Chennai or in busy marketplaces. These bajjis can be easily prepared at home. I have added rice flour and biryani colour (orange or sunset colour) in my batter for the extra crispness and colour - similar to what we get in Marina beach bajji stalls.

Preparation time: 15 mins

Cooking time: 30 mins

Cuisine: Tamil Nadu

Spiciness: Mild

Serves: 4 to 5

Ingredients

  • Onion (medium) – 1
  • Bell pepper – 1
  • Ridge gourd (Turi) – 1/2
  • Potato (medium) – 1
  • Cauliflower – 8 florets
  • For batter

  • Gram flour (besan) – 1 cup
  • Rice flour – 4 tbsp
  • Red chilli powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Hing (asafoetida) – a big pinch or 1/8 tsp
  • Salt - as per taste
  • Baking Soda – a pinch or 1/4 tsp
  • Food Colour (optional) – a big pinch
  • Hot Oil (optional) – 1 tbsp
  • Water – 180 to 200 ml
  • Coriander leaves (chopped) – few

Method

  • Slice the onion, potato, ridge gourd, bell pepper into thin slices and separate the florets of cauliflower. For onion you can slice 1/2 inch thick.
  • You can take as many slices as per the vegetable and batter.
  • I took 4 to 6 slices from each vegetable.
  • Preparing the batter

  • In a wide bowl add gram flour, rice flour, chilli powder, hing, salt, food colour and soda. Mix well.
  • Add enough water to make a paste. Add water, little at a time to make a thick but smooth batter.
  • Add hot oil and mix well. The batter should neither be very thick nor thin. The consistency should be like dosa batter and should result in the vegetables getting well coated. Mix well and keep it ready.
  • Making the bajjis

  • Heat oil in a deep frying pan. To check if the oil is hot enough, put a drop of the batter into the oil. The batter should rise to the top quickly. Keep the flame to medium.
  • Dip each slice of vegetable in the batter making sure it is coated on all sides. I used ridge gourd first, but you can choose any vegetable you like. Gently drop them into the oil.
  • While frying, try to put some oil continuously with your frying ladle or big spoon on the top of bajji as well, so that it can fluff when frying.
  • As soon as it is light golden colour, turn the bajji and cook for a few more mins.
  • Keep turning the fritters occasionally until it is evenly golden in colour and the oil bubbles start reducing.
  • Cook the bajjis in batches, do not overcrowd them in the pan. Place the bajjis on kitchen tissues to soak the excess oil.
  • Serve the vegetable bajjis hot and with any sauce.
  • If you want, you can cut the bajjis in half and garnish with some chopped onions and coriander leaves. Serve.

Notes

  • The batter should neither be very thick nor thin. The consistency should be such that the vegetables get coated well.
  • Chillies, raw banana can also be used.
  • Oil can be added to the batter to avoid the bajjis from absorbing more oil while frying.

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