Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Potato Bajjis (or Aloo Pakoras as some people call them)

I have been without my kitchen (well almost) for about 2 weeks.  We got some work done and the kitchen looks great now, but I was itching to get back and do some serious cooking.  I did sneak in a couple of simple dishes while the work was going on though - a few things that did not require a lot of ingredients or cookware to make. 

Bajjis (some people call the Pakoras and most North Indian restaurants call them that) are super easy to make and don’t require a lot of advance planning.  In my house, they are an all time favorite snack, and I don’t think anyone has ever said no to bajjis, if I offer to make some.  


Aloo Pakoras


Some form of bajjis or pakoras is available throughout India.  In the south, we add a bit of rice flour to the batter, while my friends up north only use gram flour (besan). 

In Tamil Nadu, traditionally, bajji and sojji (sooji halwa) are served, with filter coffee of course, when a prospective groom comes for the first time to meet the bride’s family   I don’t remember what we served my husband when he came to my house for the first time.  I don’t know if he remembers.  Anyway – I don’t think it was bajji and sojji :)

Bajjis are a perfect snack for a rainy or cold day – best served with chai.




Here is what you need:

(to make about 20 – 30 bajjis)

  • 1½ cups besan (gram flour/garbanzo bean flour)
  • ½ cup rice flour
  • ½ - 1 tsp. red chili powder
  • salt to taste
  • water
  • 2 – 3 large potatoes, washed thoroughly and sliced thin (you can use a mandoline or a sharp knife – I just used a knife)
  • oil for deep frying

Note:  I would slice a couple of potatoes first and see if there is any batter left before slicing the third potato.  Depending on the size of the potatoes, you may only need two.



 

 

Here is how I made it:


  1. Heat oil in a kadai or a deep pot.
  2. While the oil is heating, mix the batter.  Add besan, rice flour, red chili powder, salt, and enough water to make a thick paste (like pancake batter).
  3. Make sure your oil is hot enough, by dropping a small ball of the batter into it.  If the ball rises to the surface immediately, then the oil is ready.
  4. Take the sliced potatoes, one slice at a time, and dip it into the batter to coat.  Drop it carefully into the hot oil.  You can fry a few at a time depending on how big your kadai is.  I normally fry about 6 – 8 at the same time.
  5. Gently turn the bajjis and fry them, on medium heat, till both sides are golden and the bajjis are crisp.  Remove and drain the oil in a colander lined with paper towels.
  6. Repeat till all the potatoes and/or the batter is done.


Serve hot with chutney or ketchup.  And don't forget the chai!



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