vazhakkai bajji

Vazhakkai Bajji (Raw plantain bhajji)

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It’s been cold, chilly and raining here for the past couple of days. Rain is a rare sight in Los Angeles and so we welcome it in a snug cardigan with a cup of coffee and hot snacks. The quintessential rainy day or anytime snack in India are these vazhakkai bajjis (raw plantain bajji). Bajjis are a fried snack made with chickpea flour batter that is seasoned with spices. They’re known for their texture that is both soft and crispy. Vegetables like onions, potatoes, raw bananas and chillies are used to make them as they are quick to cook and are flavorful. They are the most common street food and it is definitely a sight to see when street vendors fry them right before your eyes. This draws a lot of attraction as people throng these spots to enjoy these delicacies with fiery chutneys and hot cups of tea. These are some of the most wonderful things we miss about India. So if you’re missing these delectable snacks like we do, jump over to my website and try out my fail-proof Vazhakkai bajji recipe with a few tips and tricks that give you the perfect tea kadai bajji! Do tag me or send me your results!

Ingredients:

  • Raw banana – 1 large 
  • Gram flour – 1 cup 
  • Rice flour – 1 tablespoon 
  • Asafoetida – a generous pinch 
  • Kashmiri red chilli powder – 2-3 tablespoons 
  • Baking soda – 1 teaspoon 
  • Ginger garlic paste – 1 tablespoon
  • Salt as required 
  • Ghee – 1 teaspoon (optional)
  • Oil for frying 
  • Water – ½ cup (adjust accordingly)

Instructions:

  1. To begin making the bajji batter, add gram flour, rice flour, baking soda asafoetida and kashmiri chilli powder to a mixing bowl. The kashmiri chilli powder helps give a bright reddish-orange hue to the bajji so you can avoid using food coloring. 
  2. Next add ginger garlic paste and salt for seasoning. 
  3. Combine the dry ingredients well and slowly incorporate the water to form a thick batter. Whisk well until you get an idli batter or a cake batter consistency. It shouldn’t be flowy. 
  4. Now to give it extra flavor, mix into the batter 1 teaspoon of ghee. This is purely optional. 
  5. Wash and peel the hard layer of the banana. Leave behind the soft layer as it adds texture. Now cut into long thin strips and keep aside. 
  6. Heat enough oil in a wide kadai for frying. 
  7. Once the oil is hot, add one teaspoon of the hot oil to the bajji batter and whisk well. This keeps the bajji crisp while not absorbing too much oil when frying. 
  8. Dip the sliced banana into the batter until coated evenly and fry in oil. Once it puffs up , flip and let it cook on the other side. Once both sides are well cooked, puffy and turn a bright reddish-orange hue, transfer them to a plate lined with a paper napkin. Serve piping hot with some spicy chutney and a cup of tea! Enjoy!
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