Bhaji are a kind of fritter made with besan (chickpea) flour and spices, often with added vegetables. In their most basic form they can be served with a simple mango chutney as a snack, but they make a great protein- and fiber-filled addition to your salads, sandwiches, rice bowls and wraps.
Spicy Carrot Bhaji
- Large Mixing Bowl For combining the dry ingredients and mixing the batter.
- Whisk To mix the flours, spices, and water into a smooth batter.
- Grater To peel and grate the carrots.
- Cutting Board and Knife For chopping cilantro and Serrano chili pepper.
- Frying Pan To fry the bhaji. Choose a pan that's large enough to hold the batter and allow space for frying multiple bhajis at once.
- Measuring cups and spoons For precise measurement of ingredients.
- Stirring Utensil A spatula or spoon for folding the vegetables into the batter and for flipping the bhajis while frying.
- Paper Towels To drain excess oil from the fried bhajis.
- Plate To serve the cooked bhajis.
- Stove For heating the oil and frying the bhajis.
- Heatproof Tongs or Slotted Spoon To flip and remove the bhajis from the oil safely.
- Towel or Cooling Rack To cool and drain the bhajis after frying.
- Broiler (Optional) If you plan to store the bhajis and reheat them later, you might use a broiler to crisp them up before serving.
- 1 cup besan also known as chickpea or gram flour
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour substitute rice flour for a gluten-free option
- 1 teaspoon vegetable broth powder or salt
- 1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds preferably toasted but no big deal if they aren’t!
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 cup water
- 2 cups peeled and grated carrot about 3 carrots
- 1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro
- 1 tablespoon minced Serrano chili pepper
- 1/3 cup neutral-flavoured oil, such as sunflower or canola
- In a large bowl, whisk together the besan, all purpose flour or rice flour, vegetable broth powder or salt, cumin seeds and turmeric.
- Add the water and whisk just until it is smooth with no big lumps.
- Add the carrot, cilantro, and Serrano pepper to the bowl.
- Fold the vegetables into the batter gently. The mixture will be thick, but the water from the veggies will loosen it up a bit as you stir them in. You can always add a bit more water if it is really stodgy after you add the veggies.
- Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium high heat until it sizzles when you drop a tiny bit of batter in it. Add batter in 1/4 cup rounds in the hot oil, spreading them out a bit with the back of the measuring cup until they are mostly even.
- After about 4 minutes, the tops should be starting to look less shiny, the edges should be golden and the bottoms should be golden brown. If they aren’t, turn up the heat a tiny bit and cook for another minute or two.
- Flip the bhaji and cook for another 4-5 minutes until the center of the bhaji is cooked through and the outside is golden all over.
- Drain bhaji on a towel-covered plate and serve right away. Bhaji may be kept in the fridge for a week, and re- and crisped under the broiler for a couple of minutes on each side before serving.