It has been pouring nonstop the last few days here in Bangalore, and I could not stop thinking of snacking over some hot bajjis (bajji: fritters made from any vegetable, coated with a gram flour based batter), of which nothing would beat Chilli (Molaga) bajji, the ‘king’ of all bajjis. A cult favourite, this bajji is an integral part of probably every street food stall in India. Monsoons are never complete without relishing these incredible chilli bajjis with a really hot, steaming cup of chai. Now this bajji, when combined with yummy, cheesy goodness is a match made in heaven! 😛
The milkiness of the cheese perfectly cuts the hotness of the chilli. Serve these bajjis with some good old ketchup on the side (well, you could even mix some ready made schezwan sauce with the ketchup (1:1), it’ll serve as a perfectly yummy sweet chilli dip!). I also coated them with breadcrumbs before frying for that extra crunch. Now, on to the recipe.
- Green Chillies (Bajji Variety)/ Banana Peppers- 7 to 8 nos
- Processed Cheese- about 50 g (I used about three cubes of Amul Cheese)
- Bread Crumbs of 4 slices of bread (I just ground 4 slices of Bread)
For the Batter
- Gram/Chickpea Flour (Besan)- 1 cup
- Rice flour- 1/4 cup
- Red Chilli Powder- 1 or 2 tsp, depending on your taste
- Turmeric Powder- 1/4 tsp
- Asafoetida (Hing)- a pinch
- Salt to taste
Prepping the Banana Peppers
- Wash the peppers well and dry them with a cloth/tissue. Roughly chop the cheese into smaller cubes.
- Make a vertical slit in the pepper and remove the seeds. Stuff it with cheese cubes, close it with your fingers as much as you can so that there is no cheese popping out. Repeat for each pepper.
- Meanwhile, take a few slices of bread and grind them. You can also use ready made breadcrumbs if it is available to you.
Preparing the batter
- Start with a cup of gram flour. Then add all the other ingredients- rice flour, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, salt and hing.
- Add water little by little to make a smooth batter, free of lumps. In total, I added roughly 250ml of water. The batter should neither be too runny nor too thick. It needs to be thick enough to coat the chillies well but should have a pouring consistency. Check for enough salt.
Frying the peppers
- Heat a pan with enough oil in a medium flame.
- Dip each pepper into the batter. Make sure it is well covered in the batter. Immediately, roll onto the prepared breadcrumbs. Press each side lightly so that they stick well.
- Check how hot the oil is by dropping a few breadcrumbs. If they come right up, then your oil is ready. Once the oil is hot enough, carefully drop each of the peppers into the pan. Keep turning them, so that they fry evenly.
- Fry until they turn a nice golden brown, making sure not to burn them. This takes about 1-2 minutes. Serve hot with any dip of your choice! 🙂
TIPS AND TWEAKS
- The temperature of the oil needs to be hot, so make sure of that before dropping your peppers in. Never let it become too hot, to the point of smoking. You will end up with burnt breadcrumbs and uncooked chillies.
- Seal the chillies as much as you can with the batter, as this will ensure the cheese does not ooze out into the oil while it is cooking.
- Removing the seeds is totally optional. You can let it be if you can take the heat. I removed them just in case, as certain peppers turn out extremely spicy.
Have you checked out our Instagram page, a_burst_of_flavor yet?
Happy cooking! 😀