Wednesday, November 19, 2008

1001 Bajjis ( Batter-fried chewy Indian fritters)

Click the image on the left to view the cookbook.
Any edible flour can be made into a batter, into which a variety of goodies can be dipped in and deep fried. This is the logic behind all the
fritters,  North Indian pakoras, Japanese tempuras, American hush puppies, South Indian bajji, North Indian bhajias, South Indian bondas, Japanese kakiage, South Indian pakodas, French beignets., Italian frittas and all such recipes, which exist in virtually every cuisine. 

Understanding the principle behind deep frying is the only way to cook a light and crispy fritter every time. 

Bajjis are no different from Bondas, except for their shape and goodies used. Bondas are usually ball shaped, whereas Bajjis are flat. Edibles that can be shaped into a ball are dipped into a batter and fried into a bonda, whereas strips of vegetables are dipped in the same batter and fried into bajjis. 

The batter:
Though gram flour is commonly used for most bajjis, different flours can be used to make a variety of bajjis with a different flavour and texture. Column 1 lists some of them. Wheat flour gives a chewy bajji, rice flour gives a crispy bajji, rava gives a gritty bajji and so on. By changing the base, the following bajjis can be cooked up.

0.: Gram flour is used for the basic bajji.

1.: All purpose flour ( maida) and whole wheat flour give a chewy maida and godhi bajji.

3.: Nut flour (cashew / almond flour) gives a delicately flavoured bajji.

4.: Yellow Corn flour & Finger millet flour cook into differently coloured and flavoured chola bajji and ragi bajji.                                 

6.: Rice flour   gives a crispy bajji

7.: Cream of wheat is used for a gritty textured Rava bajji.

8.:  Almost all edible flours like water chestnut flour, soya flour, buckwheat flour etc. can be used for bajjis. It is easier to use them mixed with gram flour / wheat flour as some of them can't be made into a clingy batter. 

The flavouring                   
A range of flavouring agents listed in column 2 can be mixed in with the batter to cook up scores of variations. There are no rules here. Choose your favourite flavouring combination.

The goodies:
Anything that can be sliced into a thin strip can be fried into a bajji. A variety of goodies listed in column 3 can be dipped into the batter and deep fried. There are no fixed rules about the goodies & batter combination. Experiment with your favourite goodies!

 0.: Carrot gives us the carrot bajji

1.: Potato gives the urulai kizhangu bajji. 

2.: Banana ( raw / ripe- especially Nendram pazham, the Kerala plantain) is fried into the vazakkai bajji / Pazha bajji).

3.: Eggplant is fried into the Kathirikkai bajji.

4.: Capsicum gives us the koda molaga bajji.

5.: Paneer is fried into the paneer bhajji.

6.: Bread  is used to make the Bread bajji.

7.: Onion is fried into the vengaya bajji.

8.: Slit, deseeded and stuffed green chilies  give the spicy molaga bajji.

 You can experiment with chicken breasts,  sausages, prawns, fish slices etc, to cook a variety of bhajjis. 

Fry safe! 


Kitchen Flavours said...

Oh My God i just can't even image that we can make so many yummy bajji's. Hats off to you.

Ruth said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


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