Mirchi Bajji / Hot Pepper Fritters

Mirchi Bajjis certainly evoke a lot of childhood memories for a lot of folks I know. S is surely one of them. He keeps talking about this particular street hawker in the street he lived as a child. Apparently that guy made these mouth watering Mirchi bajjis and the whole neighborhood would stand in line to have their share before the guy runs out of batter!! I would have heard this story from S umpteen number of times and I have heard similar stories from my friends and cousins who claim that their particular street hawker is the best.

Anyway, this recipe I make (read it as rarely make), is from my MIL who swears that this is the same recipe the street hawker (the one talked about by S) uses to make these bajjis. Initially I used to make mirchi bajjis using the banana peppers but when Jaya visited us, she told us that there were a particular type of mirchis in the local Indian stores which are not too spicy and can be used for the bajjis. So I went and got them to surprise S and here is how he enjoyed these on a snowy evening.

Ingredients -

Bajji Mirchis / Chillies 10 (See picture)

For the batter -
Besan / Chick Pea Flour 1.5 cups
Ajwain/Vaamu 1/4 tsp
Jeera 1/4 tsp
Salt as needed

For the Filling -
Sesame / Nuvvulu 2 Tbsp
Dry Coconut Powder 2 Tbsp
Dhania powder/Coriander powder 1 tsp (or Dhania seeds 1 tsp)
Tamarind juice 2 Tbsp
Salt as needed

For Garnish -
Onions finely chopped
Lemons cut into small pieces

Method Of Preparation -
When selecting the mirchis, make sure they are more or less straight and not curved up.

Wash Mirchis, dry them and make a vertical slit in each mirchi.

To prepare the filling - Roast sesame seeds, dry coconut powder, dhania seeds and grind into a fine powder. Add Salt and Tamarind juice to make a thick dough. Don't need to add water, as the oil in the sesame seeds will bind the mixture.

To prepare the batter - In a mixing bowl, add besan, salt and coarsely powdered ajwain and jeera. Add water slowly and make a batter which is not too runny.

In a deep frying pan, add 3-4 cups of oil and put on medium heat.

Meanwhile, evenly fill in each of the slitted mirchis with small marble sized mixture. Prepare all the mirchis and keep them aside. (I used up all of the mixture for exactly 10 mirchis).

When the oil is hot enough, dip the mirchis in the batter and gently slide them in oil and fry until golden brown. Don't overcrowd the pan but in a medium sized pan, 4-5 mirchis would fit in.

Drain them onto kitchen paper towels and continue for the rest of the mirchis.

Take another peek at those mouth watering bajjis!!

Serve them hot with chopped onions and a dash of lime juice. (Optionally, the fried bajjis can be redipped in the batter and fried again for the 'authentic Hyderabadi' taste!). S was too impatient to wait for that process and so I stopped there!!

If the bajjis are wide enough, S likes to make a vertical slit on the bajjis and add the chopped onions and a splash of lime juice to get that 'crunch' !!



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