Bajji / Bhujiya are the spicy, Indian chickpea flour based vegetable fritters and today's version uses ridge gourd slices. This mouthwatering treat sans onion can be a part of either a festival platter or an accompaniment to evening tea / coffee.
Ingredients: (Yield about 16 bajjis)
1/2 cup heaped chickpea flour / besan
1 tbsp. rice flour
1 tsp. cumin seeds
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp. chili powder or to taste
1/8 tsp. turmeric powder
2 pinches of asafoetida powder (optional)
1/8 tsp. baking soda
1/2 ridge gourd
Oil to deep fry (I used canola oil.)
* Peel the ridge gourd and cut into thin slices.
* Heat the oil in a deep frying pan on medium heat. Don't bring it to the point of smoking hot.
* Sieve garbanzo flour into a mixing bowl. Add the remaining ingredients except the ridge gourd slices to the bowl and mix to combine. Next add water and make a batter of semi-thick consistency. It should be neither thick nor watery but should be able to coat when the ridge gourd slices are dipped in it. (I used about 1/2 cup minus 1 tbsp. water.)
* Drop a pinch of batter into the oil to test whether the oil is ready for frying. If the batter sizzles and comes immediately to the surface, it's ready to fry. If the batter sinks and doesn't rise, the oil needs some more heating. Dip the ridge gourd slice in the batter so that it is coated well on both sides and drop it into the oil carefully. Repeat this step and drop as many slices as the pan could hold without over crowding.
* Fry until they turn golden brown. Remove them with a spatula and drain on absorbent towels.
* Repeat the steps with the remaining gourd slices and the batter.
* These bajjis can be served as it is or with chutney on the side.
This goes to Blogging marathon #74, under the theme 'Festival recipes'. Check out the page to read what other marathoners are cooking.