Tuesday, August 12, 2008
STUFFED MOLAGAI BAJJI
- PEANUT CHUTNEY STUFFED, BATTER FRIED CHILLY!
Bajji is an easy-to-make-dish by deep frying sliced vegetables dipped in batter. In South Indian homes Bajji and Sojji (a sweet made of semolina) are served to the boy and his people who go to see a prospective bride. Usually the girl prepares the dishes so that the boys’ people might gauge her culinary expertise.
When our daughter took us to Haridwar on a pilgrimage, we stopped by an eatery for our breakfast. We were astonished to see an enormous plateful of assorted vegetable bajjis (they called them pakoras) they served for breakfast.
Bajjis are commonly made with potato and onion slices. Marrow slices and egg plant slices are also used. Now a days, cauliflower bajjis and capsicum bajjis are common in restaurants. Baby corn and cheese bajjis are a hit among children. The exotic among them all is the stuffed chilly bajji, which my paternal aunt prepared.
For this recipe, you need to prepare the stuffing, batter and the chillies as follows:
Ingredients for the Stuffing:
Peanuts -1 cup
Red chillies- 3
Mustard seeds – ¼ tsp
Urad dal (Black gram dal) – ½ tsp
Asafoetida – 1 pinch
Oil – 1 tsp
Chopped coriander leaves – ½ cup
Tamarind – 1 small marble size
Salt -3/4 tsp
Method to prepare the stuffing
1. Heat oil and add asafoetida and mustard seeds.
2. When mustard sputters, add black gram dal and roast till it is golden in colour.
3. Add red chillies and roast till crisp.
4. Add peanuts and roast till they crack.
5. Allow to cool.
6. After cooling, grind coarsely with tamarind, salt, and coriander leaves.
Keep the filling aside and prepare the batter.
Ingredients for the batter
Kadali maav (Besan or Roasted Bengal gram flour) – 1 ½ cups
Rice flour – ¼ cup
Red chilly powder – ¼ tsp
Jeera (Cumin seeds) – 1 tsp
Asafoetida - 1 pinch
Salt – ½ tsp
Curd – 2 tbsps
Oil – 1 tbsp
Method to prepare the batter
1. Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl.
2. Add curds and oil.
3. Add water little by little and whisk all ingredients together to make a thick batter. The consistency should be similar to that of a cake batter.
Preparing the Chillys
1. Wash about 8 bajji chillies and slit them lengthwise on one side only.
2. Take a scraper and scoop out all the seeds and fibers from the inside of the chillies and rinse them clean under running water.
3. Hold the slit open and fill it with the prepared chutney and arrange the stuffed chillies on a plate.
Frying the Bajjis
1. Heat oil in a wok. Take enough oil to completely cover the chilly when deep fried.
2. Hold the chilly by the stalk and dip the stuffed chilly into the batter, and coat it thoroughly on all sides.
3. Drop the chillies two or three at a time into the hot oil so that they do not stick to each other.
4. Reduce flame and cook till the batter is cooked intact.
5. Increase heat and fry until all the bajjis turn into a reddish golden colour
6. Take out the bajjis from the oil and drain them on tissues.
Enjoy with tomato sauce or pudina chutney while still hot and crisp.