Deep frying in oil till golden brown doesn’t happen often in my kitchen…..in fact it wont ever if i can manage…. but sometimes….i grow weak and give in…..mostly fall prey to the excitement deep frying generates for K …. so after a rather dismal week in the kitchen, as we sat on our balcony yesterday and sipped chai while we chatted this happened …..
suddenly possessed i asked k “would you like to eat some bajjis?”
he couldnt believe i was saying this….and said “would love to….but that would be too much oil na…. you dont like to fry”
sanity quickly came back to me and i said “yeah…forget it….i dont know what i was thinking…..”
k gingerly “but i cant remember the last time we had bajjis…i think it was last year…sometime”
me: “sometime last year? are you sure it was so long back? then maybe a little frying wont kill me”
k relieved….and happy….looks at me and says “ok whatever….. but yes it will be nice”
me: “ok now i have to make the bajjis….can you come into the kitchen so we can talk as i do it?”
so that’s how it happened…..and after we devoured some piping hot ones with ketchup…. (i didnt have the patience to make chutney….was practically salivating into the hot kadhai) i didnt feel as guilty as i thought i would….back in august, there was this party going on which i couldnt be part of…..see how much it affected me!! maybe i was trying to make up for not being able to party with the batata vada people….. whatever the reason….we loved and enjoyed this treat…..
Serves 2 very hungry people (or 4 normal ones)
2 medium potatoes, skinned and finely sliced – about 14-16 fine slices
1 medium onion, sliced thin (about 10 slices) (i used a slicer to get them really fine)
1 c chickpea flour (besan)
salt to taste
1 T rice flour
1/2 t carom seeds (ajwain)
a pinch asafeteda
1/4 t red chilly powder
1/2 -2/3 c water
a pinch of baking soda
oh!! almost forgot!! enough oil to deep fry
wash, peel and slice the potatoes and onion and set aside. mix together the rest of the ingredients to form a thick batter. it should be thinner than pancake batter. make sure it is lump free. set aside for 5 mins.
line a plate with 3-4 layers of absorbent paper.
in a heavy bottom open pan (kadhai or wok) heat about 2 1/2 inches of vegetable oil. drop a tiny bit of the batter to test if it is hot enough, it should bubble and the batter should immediately spring back to the surface and sizzle.
reduce the heat and gently (be very careful) dip the slices of vegetable in the batter, coating well and drop it into the hot oil. depending on the size of the vessel, put in 5-6 of them at a time, leaving enough space to turn them around.
the onion slices may separate while being coated with batter, this is absolutely fine and makes for a crisper bajji.
fry till golden brown on both sides. drain on absorbent paper and serve hot.