Chilli bites (bhajia)

Chilli bites (bhajia)

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  • 12 - 15
  • Easy
  • 20 minutes
  • 20 minutes


  • 1 cup chana (chickpea) flour
  • 1/2 cup plain flour
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 1 potato, peeled and cubed
  • 1/2 tin creamed corn
  • 1/4 t ground cumin
  • 1/4 t ground coriander
  • 1/2 t ground green chilli (or more if you want to increase the heat)
  • 1 T red chilli slices
  • 1 t chilli powder
  • 1/2 t fennel seeds, lightly crushed
  • fresh coriander, chopped
  • 2 t baking powder
  • sunflower oil, for frying
  • 1 t salt

Cooking Instructions

1. Start by sifting chana flour and flour into a bowl. Add 1 t salt.
2. Add the onion, potato and corn to the flour mix. At this stage, you can leave the mix to rest until you're ready to use.
3. Once you are ready to fry, fill your non-stick pan with the sunflower oil and place over a medium-high heat.
4. Add the remaining spices and chillies into the batter, along with the baking powder and mix well to combine.
5. Add 2 tablespoons of the hot oil into the batter mix, and add 1/4 cup water slowly to form a looser batter. Add a splash at a time instead of pouring all the liquid in.
6. Carefully drop the batter into the hot oil using your hand or tablespoon.
7. Once the batter hits the oil and bounces to the surface,  immediately drop the temperature to medium to ensure it doesn't brown too quickly on the outside before cooking through the centre.
8. Allow them to float around, turning all the time. Most importantly, lower  the heat to make sure that they are cooked through.
9. Remove from the oil using a slotted spoon. Drain on absorbent paper and serve immediately.
10. Serve alongside lemon wedges, chilli sauce or green mint chutney.

Cook's tip:  The batter should be firm enough to hold in your hand before dropping into the oil. If it’s too runny, the bhajias won’t hold together. Also, try to incorporate the baking powder well to achieve a foamy-like texture. You can leave the baking powder in for 15 minutes to get this consistency.

Find more Indian-inspired recipes here.

Extracted with permission from Naqiyah Mayat’s The Beginning: Indian recipes from my home (That Food Guy Publishing).

Naqiyah Mayat Recipe by: Naqiyah Mayat
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Naqiyah Mayat is the author of The Beginning: Indian recipes from my home, a mother of four, and entrepreneur. Follow her on Instagram: @naqiyah_mayat.

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