In the picture above and below are nendran banana fritters (called as nendra kele bajo in Konkani, nendra bale bajji-bonda in Kannada), raw banana/plantain fritters (called as kele phodi, bajo in Konkani) and potato fritters.
Ask most Indians what they crave for while it's raining and street food is what we love the most. I'm sure you'll hear every Indian say pakoras or bhajias with a cup of hot tea/coffee. These gram flour coated, deep fried vegetables are the most loved Indian street food! On every Indian street you'll find a small stall selling these fritters.
Be it a cold, rainy day or a sunny evening, a cup of coffee and a plate of hot pakoras is bliss! These vegetable fritters are called by many names in India, bhajias in Hindi, bajji, bajji-bonda in Kannada and bajo in Konkani.
Cauliflower, capsicum, raw banana, potato, sweet potato, bread fruit, brinjal (eggplant), mushroom, paneer, ridge gourd & many more veggies are coated with a layer of gram flour batter and are deep fried to make yummy pakoras. They are super easy and super quick to make.
Preparing the batter:
1. In a mixing bowl, add gram flour, red chilli powder, salt, cumin seeds, baking soda, asafoetida powder and mix well.
2. Add water little by little, just enough to make a paste. Mix well such that there are no clumps of gram flour. Dissolve any tiny clumps that are formed.
3. Then add little more water to make a semi-thick batter. The batter should not be too thick or too thin. When the veggies are dipped in the batter, it should hold a coating of batter.
4. If the batter's thin, it'll drip off the veggies. In that case add more gram flour to get a semi thick batter.
Prepping the veggies:
1. Clean and peel the veggies. Chop into preferred shapes and sizes.
2. Thick slices take a lot of time to cook and thin slices may get too crispy very fast. The thickness of the slices should be just enough to cook right and should give you a mouthful with every bite.
3. Add some salt to the chopped veggies, mix well and let them rest for 15 minutes so that they take up salt and won't taste bland later on. This step also fastens the cooking of veggies.
4. Meanwhile heat up oil for deep frying.
5. Dip chopped veggies in the batter, to get a uniform coating of batter all around each piece.
6. Drop the batter coated veggies one by one into hot oil and deep fry them on medium heat until they are golden brown.
7. Make sure the heat is set to medium once the oil's rolling hot or else you'll have crispy exteriors with raw veggies inside. If the heat's on low, the fritters tend to abosrb more oil.
8. Don't over crowd your oil to ensure uniform cooking of all fritters.
9. Remove the fritters out of oil once they are cooked uniformly all around. Drain excess oil on a paper towl and serve the fritters hot.
1. Serve fritters hot as a tea time snack with a cup of tea or coffee.
2. These fritters taste great as is. For extra taste serve them with a spicy coconut chutney or with a spicy mint coriander chutney. Alos, sprinkle some chaat masala or onions or corriander leaves on top for added taste.
3. Serve hot fritters as a starter or as a side dish for lunch, dinner like Konkanis do.
1. The basic pakora, bhajia, bajji-bonda batter has only gram flour, salt, water in it. Red chilli powder adds spice, baking soda makes the pakodas fluffy and airy. Cumin and asafoetida add taste and takes care of the effect gram flour and baking soda has on your stomach.
2. These bhajias tend to get oily and soggy once they cool down. They tend to lose their crispiness. To avoid sogginess, oiliness once they cool down and to keep them crisp for longer add 1 tablespoon of rice flour to the gram flour batter and mix well.
Eggplant fritters (vaygan, gulla phodi in Konkani):
Sweet potato fritters (kanga phodi, bajo):
Find more fritter (bajo, phodi) recipes here.
Tags: Tea time snacks, side dish, fritters, deep fried, bajo, starters, baje, bajji, bonda, pakora, thalel phodi, phodi, Udupi Mangalore street food, Konkani food, Mangalore food, Udupi cuisine, Konkani cuisine, Konkani recipe, bhajias, finger food