Vazhakkai Bajji – is a very popular tea time snack in southern India… the moment is rains, you think of that “bajji” with a cup of coffee, sitting around with family and talk about sweet silly nothings! As a chennaite…my favorite place to hog on these is none other than Marina Beach, calls for soooooo many nostalgic moments with family & friends.
Now, close your eyes… there is this sea shore ambience, with relaxing sounds of gentle sea waves, a light feeling of salty fresh air breezing through your hair, melodious tamizh pattu AIR -ed from a distant nowhere…. smell of sizzling oil, see yourself getting a batch of oil dripping suda suda bajjis wrapped around in an old newspaper…. ah, i want to be there!
Some nostalgic posts….
Well, that kind of effect was given to this humble homemade vazhakkai bajji with raw onion chutney served on one “rainy” day and will be continued…..
- Raw Banana (vazhaikkai) – 1 (about 8 pieces)
- Gram flour (kadhalai maavu) – 1/2 cup
- Rice flour (arisi maavu) – 2 tablespoons
- Red Chilli powder – 1/2 teaspoon
- Food color (kesari or orange) – a pinch (optional)
- Asafoetida – 1/4 teaspoon
- Cooking soda – a pinch
- Salt – 1/4 teaspoon or to taste
- Water – as needed
- Oil – 2 cups for deep frying
- Idli Dosa batter – 2 tablespoons (optional) *refernotes
Lets see how to make this vazhakkai bajji…
Lightly peel the outer skin of a raw banana (vazhaikkai)… i like a little bit of greeny skin attached to it… you will know when you taste it! 😆
Use a mandoline or knife to slice it up as shown. Not too thick nor thin…. just perfect with greeny skin on either side.
Soak the cut pieces in water to avoid discoloration.
To make the bajji batter… combine gram flour, rice flour, salt, asafoetida, cooking soda in a bowl.
Now comes the idli dosai batter… we all have that in stock in our refrigerator 😆 (Refer notes)
Add little water to mix… to make a not too thick nor thin batter.
Coat the vazhaikkai with the batter. It should coat evenly both sides.
If your batter consistency is right… then it will coat a thin layer with no peek show by the veggie 😉 If batter is too thin then the veggie will show here & there(adjust with little extra gram flour to fix), if too thick it will smudge like a mass. (adjust with little water to fix)
Heat oil and deep fry over medium flame. If the oil is too hot… it will burn the outer layer and veggie inside wont cook. Sample before frying. Also check for salt by sampling… i end up eating all of them 😛 this way, hehehe
There you go… fried to perfection. Can’t wait to eat!
Serve it along with Marina Beach style raw onion chutney!
- Makes 8 to 9 long vazhaikkai bajjis
- The batter consistency plays a key part in the recipe. It shouldnt be too thick or thin. Too thin batter will slip off the veggie and won’t coat. Too thick batter will coat but forms thick outer layer and will never cook the veggie inside. So make sure it coats a thin layer over top.
- Vazhaikkai cut too thick will not cook while frying, use a fine mandoline or use a sharp knife to make thin slices.
- Adding dosai batter to the bajji batter adds crispy finish to the bajji. It is optional… so if you don’t have or plan to skip increase the quantity of rice flour to 1/4 cup for this measure.
- Cooking soda will help it to puff up, adding too much will break it apart… so just a pinch will do the trick.
- Food color gives that traditional touch… you may skip or add kashmir chili powder for color = little turmeric powder.
- You may use this basic bajji batter for any vegetable bajji… like onion, potato, brinjal, kovakkai, milagai..etc.
- Batter can be flavored… some variations are adding little ginger garlic paste, adding omam but it changes the taste a bit.
- While deep frying the oil should be hot enough to make the bajji puff and swing to the top as soon as you drop. Reduce the flame to medium and fry to get the veggie cooked thoroughly and get the that crispy touch on the outer.
- If this is all too much, just grab a pack of ready made bajji bonda mix and make bajjis 🙂 I love sri Balaji Brand (from pondy) or Achi brand is good too.