Milagai (Mirchi) Bajji | Vegetable Fritters

Milagai (Mirchi) Bajji | Vegetable Fritters

milagai-bajji-south-indian-fritters-mirchi-bhajji

If you’ve ever been anywhere down South in India, there is a good chance you’ve walked past street vendors frying up bajji’s of all kinds in large iron pans… up North, these go by pakoras, a close cousin to the bhaji, and are equally popular too. Geographies aside, what’s not to love about fresh and crispy vegetables, dipped in a yummy and satisfying spiced chick-pea flour batter and DEEP FRIED?!

milagai-bajji-south-indian-fritters-mirchi-bhajji2

This reminds me of so many things, and I have to take you on this trip down memory lane. Picture this: the sun beating down with all it’s wrath all day long, for a while. One day, the skies turn overcast.. almost everyone gets excited at the very prospect of clouds in the sky (folks in Seattle – it’s okay if you don’t get it!). And then it happens.. the long-awaited rain. Not just rain – tropical rain… the one where the air is filled with the fragrance of rain meeting parched earth (no, not the “after-rain” scent that comes bottled up as air freshener.. it’s wayyy better than that), and rain dances are the thing that dreams of made of. Now, to this mix, add in an indulgent deep-fried snack – bhajji of course! Seriously, monsoon + bhaji = hard to beat!

tropical-showers-aishcooks

These days, rains happen. It’s quite alright.. cause it means the end of the frigid winter allowing the snow to turn to water instead, and the barren-brown landscape is giving way to the welcome fresh-green look that the trees are beginning to sport. Although it doesn’t quite feel the same way to me, I find comfort knowing that my little boy is totally oblivious to what I miss and thoroughly enjoys the idea of dancing in a cold spring shower or splashing in the chilly water puddles!

aishcooks-spring-sprouts

So yeah, go ahead and warm your hearth and hearts with some delicious home-fried bajjis.. cause there are memories to be made no matter where you are 🙂

potato-bhajji potato-and-chilli-bajji

Milagai (Mirchi) Bajji | Vegetable Fritters

Serves: 3-4 | Cooking Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  1. 2 Anaheim peppers, 1 potato, sliced (substitute with any of peppers/potatoes/green plantain/onions/spinach)
  2. 1 cup chick-pea flour (besan)
  3. 1/4 cup rice flour
  4. 1/4 tsp red chili powder, adjust to taste
  5. 1/8 tsp asafoetida (hing)
  6. 1/4 tsp cumin seeds (jeera), optional
  7. salt to taste
  8. few curry leaves, chopped/crushed
  9. few stalks of fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  10. 1 cup water, or as needed
  11. oil for deep frying

Method:

Step 1: Make the batter

milagai-bajji-south-indian-fritters-mirchi-bhajji-prep-pics

  1. Mix together the flours, chili powder, asafoetida, cumin seeds, salt, herbs.
  2. Add water, a little at a time, mixing thoroughly to form a lump-free mixture.
  3. Note: The consistency of the batter should be thick enough to coat a spoon or finger, while the excess gently drips off. If batter is too thin, add more flour (besan) and salt to adjust the consistency, if too thick add a few drops of water at a time until correct consistency is reached.

Step 2: Deep-fry vegetables

milagai-bajji-south-indian-fritters-mirchi-bhajji-step-by-step-frying

  1. Heat the oil in a frying pan.
  2. Note: Maintain the temperature on medium-high to prevent quick burning/under cooking the bajjis. The oil is at the right temperature when a drop of batter dropped into the oil begins to sizzle and rise to the top immediately.
  3. Take the vegetable pieces, one at a time, and dip it in the batter until well coated all-over.
  4. Let the excess batter drip off, and gently drop into the hot oil.
  5. Repeat by adding more batter-dipped veggies in the oil, until you have enough to fill the pan but not overcrowd it.
  6. Cook each side for 2-3 minutes until slightly brown, and remove onto a paper-lined platter using a slotted spoon when the oil’s sizzle has reduced considerably.
  7. Repeat and cook the bajjis in batches until all done.

Serve hot with some finger-licking good coconut chutney and a steaming cup of tea or coffee!

milagai-mirchi-bajji-with-coconut-chutney

Cook’s Notes:

To make-ahead and re-heat bajjis, do the following:

  1. Do not cover the fried bajjis with a lid as this turns them soggy.
  2. Fried bajjis keep well in the fridge for 3-5 days and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  3. To re-heat bajjis, bring them to room temperature first and re-heat in the oven. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F, lay bajjis in a single layer and heat for 5-7 minutes.
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Comments
4 Responses to “Milagai (Mirchi) Bajji | Vegetable Fritters”
  1. Aish, These fritters look fabulous. I love them. I must also add, your photography is magnificent. A beautiful blog and beautiful post!

  2. Preeti says:

    Delightful..this could even work for a snow day evening snack 😉 Love the subtle favor from these chile that kicks it up a notch.

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