Colourful beginnings of bhajias
The British,a nation never renowned for its subtle taste,has always crowned the pungent onion "bhajji" the supreme king of pakoras.
Bhajia/Bhaji/Bhajji/Bhaaji is a crispy fried snack which can be cooked using onion, potato, spinach or any vegetables. Bhajia consist of chopped onions incorporated into a batter of rice or gram flour, spices and herbs, then fried in oil until golden.I have already posted a recipe for authentic bhajias on this blog and dispelled the myth of the Brits idea of what a bhajji should be.So if you can cook an authentic bhajia using almost any vegetable, why not beetroot or carrot.Using my tried and tested recipe here is a way to
make your bhajias brighter, with beetroot or carrot because they're fun and pretty and, they still taste amazing too.This is a glorious colourful intertwining of crispy roots spiced to perfection.
makes approximately 20-30 small bhajias of the size required.they should not be the size of tennis balls.
1 medium onion
1 red chilli
1 green chilli
1 level tsp chilli powder
1 level tsp ground cumin
2 tbsp fresh coriander chopped
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp dried thyme1/2 tsp lemon juice
6 tbsp rice flour
3 tbsp garam flour
1/2 tsp flor de sal
2 tbsp cold water
Oil for deep frying
Peel the beetroot and grate it coarsely into thin matchstick pieces. Peel and very finely slice an onion as thinly as you can.Mix with the grated beetroot.Finely slice a red and a green chilli.Toss the chilli, onion and beetroot together with the chilli powder,coriander, cumin,thyme,turmeric and lemon juice.
Sift the flour with the salt.
Heat the oil in saucepan deep enough to hold oil for deep frying or a deep fat fryer.
Mix the 2 flours slowly into the beetroot and onions and rub it with your fingers,until the mix is firm and sticky.Add the water and mix for a further 1~2 minutes.Check for salt, it is likely you will need to add some at this point.
Keep a strainer ready over a bowl for draining the bhajias when ready.
With your already messy fingers put small dollops of the batter into the oil to fry.
Do not put too many in the oil together when frying or else you will have soggy bhajias.
Each bhajia should be no bigger than a small fritter,approximately 2.5cm.
Do not keep the oil too hot.Let the vegetables fry for 3 or 4 minutes until they are crisp.
The fritter should fry slowly so that it gets crisp and golden.If the oil is too hot the bhajias will fry too fast and remain raw and gooey inside.If you then try to refry,they will burn,remain soggy and taste bitter.
On the other hand, if you want to serve them later,you can half fry and remove them.Fry when you are ready in hot oil this time.If the oil is not hot when refrying,the bhajias will absorb too much oil.
Serve the bhajias with any chutney of your choice.
You can use the same recipe to make carrot and beetroot bhajias.