On a cold wintry day or on a rainy day, this is the best dish to eat – hot, spicy, deep-fried goodness. A plate of bhajis, a hot steaming cup of tea or coffee, a good book and a comfortable chair – company optional.
I often see bhajis being fried in street corners in carts, the smell of the bhaji wafting across the street calling your name. Most often, I resist, because one cannot stop at one bite. My mouth is watering while I write this post, just thinking of those bhajis. You can use the same batter and dip slices of potatoes, raw banana, onions or cauliflower pieces, and deep fry.
Usually, chilli bhajis are not stuffed in the south of India and if they are, a mixture of tamarind paste and salt is applied on the inside of the chillies. Here I have stuffed them with potatoes and onions.
- 5 green peppers (preferably banana peppers or slightly large peppers) – calculate one per person or more
- 1 cup boiled and mashed potatoes
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1/2 inch ginger, chopped (optional)
- 1 green chilli, chopped fine (optional)
- 1 tsp chopped coriander leaves/ cilantro (optional)
- 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
- salt to taste
- 1 tsp oil
- For Batter: 1 cup gram flour (besan/ kadale maavu)
- 1/4 cup rice flour
- salt to taste
- 1/2 – 1 tsp red chilli powder
- a pinch of baking soda
- about 1/2 cup water
- To deep fry: 2 cups vegetable oil
- Wash and slit chillies and scoop out seeds with a spoon. Keep aside
- In a pan, take 1 tsp oil, When hot, add mustard seeds. When they splutter, add onions and fry. Add ginger and chillies.
- When onions are golden brown, add mashed potatoes, salt and mix. Add cilantro. Keep aside and let it cool.
- To make the batter, add all ingredients in a bowl, slowly add water and mix. The consistency should be of pancake batter.
- Stuff 1-2 tsp of potato mixture into the chillies. (When I ran out of potato mixture, I stuffed some with an onion-chilli mixture.
- Heat oil in a wok.
- Add a drop of batter in the oil to see if it is hot. The batter should sizzle and rise to the top
- Dip stuffed chillies into batter and deep fry till golden brown. Turn every few minutes to make sure they are golden on both sides.
- Take it out of the oil and drain on kitchen paper.
- Serve as whole or sliced. Serve by itself or with chutney or ketchup