Balekayi bajji (raw banana fritters) recipe.
Raw bananas coated with a batter made of besan (gram flour/chickpea flour) and deep-fried is a great rainy day tea time snack (or any day tea time snack actually). Bajjis are different when compared to pakora – in bajji, thinly sliced vegetables are coated in a chickpea flour batter and deep-fried; whereas, in pakora, the vegetables are mixed with gram flour and deep-fried.
To make balekayi bajji (raw banana fritters), I first peel, wash and slice the raw banana (cooking banana or plantain) and soak it in cold water. I combine together besan (chickpea flour), rice flour, chilli powder, salt and nigella seeds. I add a tablespoon full of hot oil (this is what makes the bajji crispy). I then slowly add water and make a batter. The consistency of the batter is very important - it should not be too thick or too runny. I then dip the raw banana slices in the batter and deep fry them.
Bajji can be made with any vegetable - heerekayi (ridge gourd), potato, eggplant, banana chilli, cauliflower, paneer, slices of bread, hard-boiled eggs!
I have posted recipes for onion pakora and moringa leaf pakora earlier. It’s time for some bajji now… And this one is my favourite! Try it and see for yourself why ????
Assorted bajji served as a part of thali
- 2 plantain raw banana
- 1 cup besan (gram flour/chickpea flour)
- 1 tablespoon rice flour
- 1 teaspoon chilli powder or to taste
- Salt to taste
- ½ teaspoon nigella seeds (kalongi)
- 1 tablespoon oil (should be very hot)
- Oil for deep frying
- ¼ cup water approximately
- Black salt (kala namak) to sprinkle on bajjis (optional)
- Wash and peel the raw banana. Cut them into half and make slices. Soak them in cold water and set aside
- In a large bowl, mix together the besan, rice flour, chilli powder, salt and nigella seeds
- Pour in 1 tablespoon hot oil. Oil should be so hot that as soon as you pour it, it starts to form bubbles on the flour
- Add water slowly and mix to form a thick batter
- Whisk the batter for 2-3 minutes to make it airy
- Heat oil in a deep fry pan or fryer. Once the oil is hot enough, dip a slice of raw banana into the batter and carefully drop in the oil
- Put 3-4 bajjis in a batch and fry them on medium heat until golden brown
- Drain on kitchen towel
- Sprinkle black salt and serve hot with mint chutney
- Don’t fry them on low flame – else the fritters will turn out very oily
- Don’t cut the raw banana slice too thin
- You may also make bajjis with other vegetables like potato, onion, cauliflower, eggplant, capsicum