The most basic and simplest of Indian snacks, a plate of piping hot bhajji (bhajiye or pakore) is an all-time favorite. Usually made with potatoes, I have used sweet potatoes to add a surprising twist to these spicy chickpea flour battered fritters.
I am back with yet another Indian snack recipe. And as a bonus, this one is deep-fried as well! We sure love to snack, and in style!!
Bhajji, bhajiye, pakore (or whatever you call them) are one of the most common but super popular Indian snack. These are simply slices of vegetables (though sometimes, meat or boiled eggs are also used) dunked in a thick chickpea flour batter and fried in hot oil till the outside is golden and crisp, and the vegetable or meat inside is still tender and juicy. Mmm… my mouth waters even while writing this. That’s how much we love them!
The most common variant is the humble potato or aloo bhajji. Mom made some potato bhajji for us on this vacation (and also with green plantains, spinach, etc). This prompted me to dig up these pictures from my hard drive. I had made bhajjis with sweet potatoes once, taken pictures and promptly forgot all about it. My bad… oops.
The reason I ended up making sweet potato bhajji is because 1), I was craving bhajji but only had sweet potatoes on hand, and 2), I had a lot of sweet potatoes. Aren’t these reasons enough?
To tell you the truth, I was slightly apprehensive if it would taste weird, but absolutely not! It turned out perfect, the outsides were golden-crisp and the insides had goodness of sweet potatoes.
These fritters are made with chickpea flour (besan) amped up with red chili powder and turmeric for spice and color respectively. Served with spicy chili ketchup (that’s how we do ketchup in India, if you didn’t know), these make the perfect rainy day snack.
- Sweet Potato - 1
- Chickpea flour - 1 cup (fine variety)
- Rice flour - 2 tbsp
- Red chili powder - ¼ - ½ tsp (as per heat desired)
- Turmeric powder - ¼ tsp
- Salt - ½ tsp
- Baking soda - a tiny pinch (do not add more)
- Water - as needed
- Oil - enough to deep fry
- Peel and slice the sweet potato thinly into rounds. Soak in a bowl of cold tap water while you prep the batter.
- Sieve the dry ingredients together into a mixing bowl. Add water, a little at a time, and whisk to make a thick lump-free batter. The batter should coat your finger when dipped in it and should be very smooth.
- Drain the sweet potato slices and dry them with a kitchen towel.
- Take oil in a frying pan/wok/kadhai and heat on medium heat. When oil is hot, acting quickly, dip each slice of vegetable in the batter and drop into the oil. Drop in as many slices as the pan will hold without crowding. Fry till golden brown, turning over once, around 2-3 minutes.
- Remove bhajji using a slotted spoon and set on paper towels to absorb any excess oil.
- Serve hot with ketchup or chutney and tea.
These fritters are best enjoyed fresh with a cup of your favorite hot brew. Mint chutney also goes exceptionally well with bhajjis. Here is a foolproof recipe.
Feel free to dress up the batter with freshly chopped cilantro leaves too. Another favorite street side snack is mirch vada or mulagu bhajji or fritters made with a variety of large green chili peppers. Yum!
Do you like bhajji? What is your favorite kind? Have you tried them with sweet potatoes? Do try this recipe and let me know how you like it.
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