Friday, July 22, 2011

Mirchi Bajji - Green Chilli Fritters

Mirchi Bajji always brings me back the memories of Thiruvanmiyur Beach in Chennai. I have some very good memories to cherish associated with this beach. This is where I played Holi for the first time in my life. In Konkani tradition, Holi is only celebrated by men and girls / women are made to simply watch them from a distance. I always thought how much fun it would be to play in colours but never got an opportunity. The funniest part was that Holi is not celebrated in Chennai, so we bought some Rangoli colours. I went with a group of friends, we played Holi in the beach and had all eye balls in the beach instantly rolling towards us. Not only that, we also went back drenched in colours walking back to the main road earning glares and stares of people in the streets.

I also have a beautiful memory of Abbas and I going to this beach early in the morning to watch sunrise. Co-incidentally there were many people out there with telescopes and certain other gadgets… We wondered what was going on there. We learnt later that they had gathered to witness a rare phenomenon (eclipse perhaps, not sure) and sun would appear as though a part of it has been bitten away like an apple. Unfortunately we had forgotten to carry our camera that day! Sigh! But we were glad we captured the scene in our minds and I can still remember it!

You’ll find stalls serving deep fried goodies with coconut chutney. Honestly, I like to eat only the outer cover and leave the actual ingredient aside. Amma used to drop the left over batter in oil as a stream just for me to savour li’l gram dumplings…

Long green chillies – 6-8, slit  (These are specially available in markets for making bajjis)
Bengal Gram flour / Besan– 1 cup
Rice Flour – ¼ cup
Ajwain – a pinch
Asafoetida powder – a pinch
Salt – to taste
Red chilli powder – 1 tsp (optional)
Water – for batter
Oil – for deep frying

  1. Mix together all gram flour, rice flour, salt, ajwain, asafetida powder, red chilli powder along with water. The batter should not be too runny or too thick.
  2. Heat oil in a deep bottomed pan. Once the oil is hot, dip chillies in the prepared batter and drop in hot oil. Reduce heat and let it cook, invert in between. Once you think the chillies are cooked, increase heat and remove from oil.
  3. Sprinkle chat masala and serve with coconut chutney or tomato ketchup.

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