Vazhakkai bajji / Raw banana fritters

Vazhakkai bajji/raw banana fritters is a very popular evening snack in Chennai, which is usually accompanied with a cup of tea. Vazhakkai bajji is a south Indian snack, which you can find near Marina beach in Chennai, served in paper plates with a spicy onion or tomato chutney. We often order milagai bajji (chilli fritters) and vazhakkai bajji (raw banana fritter). Apart from beach in Chennai, it is also made at home and also available at small tea shops as a snack in the evenings.

Preparation time: 10 mins

Cooking time: 20 mins

Cuisine: Tamil Nadu

Spiciness: Mild

Serves: 2

Ingredients

  • Raw banana – 1
  • For batter

  • Gram flour (besan) – 1/2 cup
  • Rice flour – 4 tbsp
  • Red chilli powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Cumin powder – 1/4 tsp
  • Hing (asafoetida) – a pinch
  • Salt - as per taste
  • Baking Soda – a pinch or 1/8 tsp
  • Food Colour (optional) – a big pinch
  • Hot Oil (optional) – 1 tbsp
  • Water – 1/2 cup or less

Method

    Preparing the batter

  • In a wide bowl add gram flour, rice flour, chilli powder, cumin 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 banana getting well coated. Mix well and keep it ready.
  • Making the bajjis

  • Wash and cut the raw banana into two horizontally. Peel the skin and discard it. Wash the banana and cut into two halves vertically. Slice the raw banana thinly and arrange in a plate.
  • 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 the banana slice in the batter making sure it is coated on all sides. Gently drop it 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 with frying.
  • As soon as it is light golden colour, turn the bajji and cook for a few minutes.
  • Keep turning the fritters occasionally until it is evenly golden in colour and the oil bubbles start reducing.
  • Repeat with the remaining bajjis. Place the banana bajji on the kitchen tissues to absorb the excess oil. Serve hot along with a cup of tea.

Notes

  • You can prepare onion, potato or chilli bajji with the same batter.
  • Oil is added to the batter to avoid oil from getting sucked into the bajji when frying.
  • Cut the banana only when the batter and oil is ready. Do not cut in advance and keep it for a long time as its colour will change to brown. Alternatively, you can soak in cold water and keep it aside.

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