Capsicum Bajji is a popular monsoon snack in many places across India. In fact, bajjis and monsoons are almost synonymous in the country – it just has to begin to rain, and out come the pans of hot oil in various homes. Chopping vegetables into large chunks, coating them in a chickpea flour batter, the sizzle as these flour-coated veggies land in the hot oil, frying them till crisp and beautiful – these are the sounds of monsoon in most Indian homes.
The mild heat of a bell pepper (‘capsicum’ in Indian parlance) makes it a perfect candidate for making bajjis or fritters. In Karnataka, capsicums are dunked whole into batter and deep-fried, then cut open and served topped with a crunchy onion-carrot salad that’s generously doused with lemon juice. Biting into a piece of the fritter, steam rising out of it, and the sharp contrast of the cool lemon-y salad – that’s a blissful experience that one must definitely have. Considering it is raining in Bangalore at the moment and the weather is simply gorgeous, I had to go ahead and make some Karnataka-style Capsicum Bajji (sliced instead of whole, though) over the weekend. Here’s presenting the recipe to you all.
#BellPepperCreations At The Foodie Monday Blog Hop
This recipe is brought to you in association with the Foodie Monday Blog Hop.
The Foodie Monday Blog Hop is a group of food bloggers who share recipes based on a certain theme, every Monday. The theme this week is #BellPepperCreations, wherein all of us are showcasing different lip-smacking dishes made using capsicum. I chose to share the recipe for Capsicum Bajji, Karnataka Style, as it was perfectly in sync with the rainy, overcast weather we are experiencing in Bangalore now.
Preethi of Preethi’s Cuisine is hosting the blog hop this week. I love the unique touches she comes up with in most of her recipes – you have to check them out! Preethi has prepared a (unique, as usual) Bell Pepper Peas Fried Rice for the theme, and it’s giving me major cravings!
How to make Capsicum Bajji| Capsicum Bajji Recipe, Karnataka Style
Here’s how to make them.
Ingredients (serves 2-3):
For the bajjis:
1. 2 large capsicum
2. 1 cup gram flour (besan)
3. 2 tablespoons rice flour
4. Salt to taste
5. 1 teaspoon red chilli powder
6. 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
7. Oil, as needed for deep-frying
For the salad:
1. 1 medium-sized onion
2. 1 medium-sized carrot
3. 3/4 teaspoon chaat masala or to taste
4. Salt as needed
5. A dash of red chilli powder
6. Juice of 1/2 lemon or to taste
7. 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh coriander
1. Wash the capsicum and pat dry using a cotton cloth. Then, cut them open and remove the stem, seeds and core.
2. Chop the capsicum into large pieces. Keep aside.
3. Next, we will prepare the batter for the Capsicum Bajji. Take the gram flour in a large mixing bowl. Add in the rice flour, salt to taste, turmeric powder and red chilli powder. Adding water little by little, mix everything well to make a batter that is neither too thick nor too watery. I needed about 1-1/4 cups of water. Keep aside.
4. Next, take the oil for deep-frying in a heavy-bottomed pan. Place on high flame and allow the oil to get nice and hot.
5. While the oil is heating up, prepare the salad for the bajjis. Peel the carrot and grate it, medium-thick, into a large mixing bowl. Chop the onion finely and add it in too. Add in chaat masala, salt (if using), red chilli powder and finely chopped coriander. Squeeze in the lemon juice. Mix well. The salad is ready – keep it aside.
6. When the oil is hot, turn the flame down to medium. Dip a few pieces of capsicum in the batter we prepared earlier and coat them in it evenly. Drop the batter-coated capsicum pieces into the hot oil. Deep fry evenly, then transfer them to a plate using a slotted spoon.
7. Serve the prepared Capsicum Bajji hot. To serve, place them on a serving plate, and place some of the prepared salad over them.
8. Deep-fry all the bajjis, top them with the salad, and serve hot in a similar manner.
Tips & Tricks
1. Use fresh capsicum for best results.
2. I have used green capsicum here. You may use capsicum in other colours too.
3. Make sure the batter is neither too thick nor too watery, for best results.
4. I have removed the seeds from the capsicum, because I did not want the bajjis to be too spicy. However, if you want spicy bajjis, you may leave the seeds in.
5. Use a heavy-bottomed pan for frying the Kodamilagai Bajji. Fry a few of the fritters at a time, making sure you do not overcrowd the pan.
6. Make sure you fry the fritters on medium flame, so that they cook evenly.
7. The Capsicum Bajji salad traditionally does not include chaat masala, but I use it because I love the flavour it imparts. Be careful while adding salt to the salad, because the chaat masala already contains salt – you may even skip the salt if you so prefer.
8. If the capsicums are spicy, you may skip using red chilli powder in the salad too.
9. Be generous with the lemon juice in the salad. Slightly sour salad goes beautifully with the heat of the Capsicum Bajji.
10. Here, I have chopped the capsicum into large pieces. I prefer chopping them because of the possibility that they might be spoilt inside or have worms – it’s always safer to check, right? You may even coat entire capsicums in the batter and deep-fry them, if you so prefer. If you choose to slice the capsicum, you may keep the pieces as big as you prefer.
11. This is a completely vegetarian and vegan recipe, suited to those following a plant-based diet. It is completely gluten-free too.
Did you like this recipe? Do tell me, in your comments!