If you asked me what my most favorite snack is, I'd say bajjis! in a heartbeat. And my favorite weather is a breezy, cloudy, midly rainy day (but not so rainy that it'll disrupt life). Put these two together, and you have the perfect day! It's been raining for a week now, and I kept resisting frying something, trying to be healthy. But yesterday my resolve crumbled. Plus, I had these peppers I'm growing that were meant for bajjis! They were sad, and begged me to dip them in batter and plunge them in hot oil. Okay that's going too far, but I did feel I was depriving them of their fateful destiny, and from reaching their full potential. (I resolved to walk extra when the weather got better)
Simple to make, ready in less than 30 minutes, and vegetables, whether fried or not, are still a good choice!
2cups oil to fryapproximate; I use avocado oil to deep fry as it has a high smoke point; next best is peanut oil
I use whatever vegetables I have, but am biased towards cauliflower and ridge gourd. A great substitute for ridge gourd would be zuchchini
Peel, slice, chop vegetables into bite sized chunks. Potatoes, ridge gourd peeled and sliced thin, break cauliflower into florets, onions into rings, chilies can be whole.
If using cauliflower, lightly salt them, sprinkle a few drops of water, cover and steam in the microwave for about 2 minutes before frying them
Heat oil to deep fry the bajjis in a wide kadai
Make the batter: mix the flours, salt, hing, turmeric, chili powder and add water a little at a time, to make a not too thin (it won't coat the vegetables if too thin), and not too thick (the coating will be too thick, taking away from the vegetable flavor) batter
Consistency of the batter
Do the oil test: drop a tiny bit of the batter into the oil; if it floats right up, it's ready. Don't let the oil get so hot that it smokes
Drop the vegetables in the batter, and coat them in the batter; take one at a time, and drop it gently/slide it in the hot oil
Fry, turning them once in the oil to cook both sides to a golden brown
Using a spider strainer or a ladle with holes, gather a few of the fried ones, shake off the excess oil gently and drain on paper towels
Fry all the vegetables in batches, not crowding the oil, keep the heat at a steady hot temperature
Enjoy with a hot cup of chai/coffee, and condiments of your choice (we like Maggi Tomato Chili sauce, and regular plain old ketchup)
Banana peppers or bajji molagai!
My husband's face during his call which he finished quickly when he saw these beauties
Use equal measures of chick pea and rice flours for the best, crispy bajjis!
I never use baking soda/baking powder and my bajjis turn out crispy, fluffy and don't soak up oil.
If you run out of batter, it only takes a couple of minutes to make it, so I'd start out with less batter so you don't end up with excess.