Pakora(Baje)


Pakoras are one of the most popular snacks in India. They are called as bajo-singular or baje-plural in Konkani. They are also called as bajji.


We usually serve them along with  meal. They are integral part of any Konkani festival/function meal. Cauliflower and capsicum baje are very popular, but people make them out of other vegetables like raw banana, potato, spinach, bread fruit, onion etc. Recently we got few requests for this recipe. I used to make them a lot when my children were small. There are many ways of making these. I am posting the recipe followed by Konkanis here.

Ingredients:
2 cups vegetables like cauliflower, capsicum, banana, potato, spinach, bread fruit etc
A pinch asafoetida
1 cup besan (gram flour)
1/2 tea spn chilli powder
Salt
Oil

Method:
Make a batter from besan, asafoetida, chilli powder, salt. The batter should not be too thick or too thin. When the vegetable is dipped in batter, it should hold a coating of batter.
Heat oil for deep frying. Dip the vegetable in the batter and deep fry.

Preparation time : 20mins

Some variations -
- A 1/2 tea spn ajwain can be added to the batter. It gives a nice taste.
- Some people add a pinch of soda to give a thick coating to them.
- If the chillies/capsicums used are very spicy, soak them in tamarind water for 10mins and discard the water. 
- To give crispiness to the bajjis, add 1 tea spn rice flour to the batter.
- Sprinkle a little bit of chaat masala on top while serving to give a nice taste.

- Some less known bajjis are made from
Cabbage – Chop cabbage. Then add some onion pieces(optional) and the batter ingredients. Here the batter is not made separately, but besan, asafoetida, salt, chilli powder is added to the pieces. Mixed and small balls of the mixture is deep fried.
Ginger – Chop finely. Then make them like cabbage, but make very small balls (about 1/2 tea spn of the mixture). Ginger gives a very spicy sharp taste, so do not make them too big.
Drumstick, bhindi(okra), brinjal(eggplant), mushroom, paneer – These are made same as the cauliflower bajji.
Onion – made like cabbage, or like the special onion bajjis.

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