Chilli bajjis, Mensinkai bajji in Kannada, Molagai bajji in Tamil all very hot favourites among Southerners where this version of bajji is prepared without stuffing unlike the North Indian version of a stuffed chilli bajji.
It is so surprising that almost everyone associates the humble Chilli bajji with the rains, monsoon and hot tea.
I normally stay away from making this at home knowing fully well that we cannot stop with one and the thought of gorging on deep fried stuff seems uncomfortable.
All the good intentions goes without a trace with the onset of the first monsoon , passing showers and the city is drenched in the welcome rains, bringing forth the memories of hot spicy chilli bajji accompanied by a hot cup of masala chai. In one word. Bliss! Chilli bajji reminds me of my hometown Dharwad where we had this practically every week in school at a nearby canteen. And then the college canteens. This evokes such wonderful memories.
Chennai is a city where one gets to see the small mounds of assortment of fried bajjis, pakodas and the chilli bajjis is one of them enticing the the weary commuter back from work to grab one or two to go with his cuppa.
Wash and clean dry the green chillis
Make slits in the chilli without removing the stalk and remove all the white seeds inside with a knife. Scrape out all the seeds as it may be pungent and this way even kids can enjoy the chilli bajji.
Sift all the dry ingredients well to incorporate well.
The batter should be thick enough to coat the chilli but not runny.
Chillis dipped in batter will puff up when dropped in hot oil.
Let them cook on a medium flame and turn little brown.
Remove from oil and drain.
Hot Chilli bajji is ready.
1 1/2 cups gram flour sieved to remove lumps.
2 tbsp rice flour
1 tbsp cornflour ( optional)
salt to taste
1 tsp carom seeds
Pinch of asafoetida powder.
1 tbsp hot oil to be poured in batter.
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp chilli powder
oil for deep frying
Wash the green chillies and wipe dry . Without cutting the stalk, cut the chilli lengthwise and scoop out the seeds as shown in the pic.
Prepare the batter by first sifting all the dry ingredients well, mix little water at a time to make a little thick batter. Pour some hot oil in the batter about 1 tbsp , this helps the bajji to get a nice crispy exterior and crunch. Keep a deep pan with oil to fry the chillis.
The batter should be such that we should be able to coat the chillis fully by the stalk and not drip too much. When the oil is heated well but not too much, test this by dropping a small drop of batter, it should come up sizzling. Drop the fully batter coated chilli into the hot oil. You will notice the chilli will become a little fat and come up. Gently roll the chilli in the hot oil to cook evenly and when nicely browned with the crispy exterior, drain on a colander.
Enjoy with a hot cup of masala chai.