Celebrating the Monsoons ~ Vaamu (Ajwain) Aaku Bajji

Ajwain Leaf / Vaamu Aaku Bajji

The last post was a summer salad to Beat the Heat and we’re already rejoicing the monsoons. Tells you how little I have blogged! But, my favourite season of the year is here and I am more than happy. We had a sweltering summer this year and never have I waited for the rains the way I have this time.

Celebrating the rains with Vaamu Aaku Bajji or Ajwain Leaf Pakoras. I grow two kinds of Ajwain / Vaamu at home. Both of which are edible, but until now I have only used them in salads for garnish. The bajjis that are made with these leaves are very popular in my home state of Andhra Pradesh. But if you have been reading this blog long enough, you should also know by now that I am scared of deep frying. The last time I made bajjis, I fessed up!

With a newspaper column to write twice a month, I try and cater to the changing seasons or festivities around and this time work demanded a kadai half filled with oil.

Potato, Onion, Ajwain Leaf and Paneer Pakoras for a Monsoon Evening Snack

I made four kinds of bajjis for the story of which one was this one. I must say, it was very very good. The fresh leaves have a very strong fragrance and taste and hence I’ve always used it sparingly when used uncooked. Dipped in a mildly spiced batter and deep fried though, it took on another personality and mellowed down to a beautiful warm flavour.

Try these with your evening tea/ coffee and enjoy the sight of the rain pounding the earth.

Vaamu Aaku Bajji (Ajwain Leaf Pakora)
Serves – 4
Recipe Source – Sailu’s Kitchen

Vaamu Leaves (Ajwain) – 16-18
Gram Flour / Besan Flour – ¾ cup
Rice Flour (makes the bajji very crisp) – 2 tablespoons
Red Chilli Powder – ½ teaspoon
A pinch of Soda Bi carb
Salt to taste
Oil for deep frying

1. Wash the Vaamu leaves and dry on paper tissue to remove excessive water
2. Mix the gram flour with the rice flour, salt, red chilli powder and soda bi carb
3. Add about 2/3 cup water and whisk well to make a thick batter the consistency of dosa batter.
4. Heat about 2 cups of oil in a kadhai. Test for readiness by dropping a few drops of the batter into the hot oil. If it rises immediately to the surface, the oil is hot enough to begin frying.
5. Dip a leaf into the batter and coat well on all sides. Drop this carefully into the hot oil. Repeat with about 6 or till the frying vessel is moderately full and you can still turn over each bajji with ease. Fry for a minute and turn over. Fry the bajjis till golden brown and remove from the oil. Drain on a paper towel. Repeat with all the leaves. Serve hot with tomato ketchup.


9 Comments Add yours

  1. AA_Mom says:

    Hello Arundhati,
    Hopped on to your blog from Nandita’s (Saffrontrail). I like these bhajjis too, where did you get the leaves? Do you grow your own, if so can you tell me how and how much time it takes for them to grow. I am from Hyd too and the past couple days have transfomed the city beautifully.

    I have been here before and baked your biscottis which were much appreciated by my little girls. so Thanks and lots of love to your pup!

    1. arundati says:

      Hi! thanks for dropping by and all the lovely words. Sage says Woof (thank you for the birthday wishes). Yes i grow the ajwain leaves at home, got a cutting and now its growing completely insane. Where do you live in hyd? i can give you a cutting if you’d like, but its pretty easy to find in any nursery. Am glad you liked the biscottis.

      1. AA_Mom says:

        Thanks Arundati for the offer – I will look around in the nurseries, if I do not find it – I might take up your offer. From next month on I will start working in Banjara Hills.

      2. AA_Mom says:

        I will also try planting the seeds, maybe it will come up 🙂

  2. Snehal says:

    I don’t know many people who have tried Ajwain leaf bhaji. My grandma used to grow it when I was a kid and it was our monsoon favorite! I love the strong spicy flavor of it. Don’t know if I can ever find it here in the US =(

    1. arundati says:

      I was surprised by the delicate flavour they got after frying! Try and grow them from seeds if you live in an area that is conducive.

      1. Snehal says:

        That’ll be my next project for the garden.

  3. Vaamu akku is quite strong and pungent, Isn’t it? I remember sniffing them when I was feeling dizzy as a little girl ;-). Interesting way of using them. :-). Is your column available online as well? If yes, please send me the link. I would to read it regularly.


    1. arundati says:

      yeah they have a strong and pungent flavour which transforms into a delicate one when cooked. I was so pleasantly surprised too!

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