The monsoons may not be doing well for the commonwealth games at the Capital and the innumerable traffic jams in other metros of the country, but the onset of monsoon is indeed a welcome respite from the rather horrifying and heated months. And rain in India is celebrated with good food: hot, spicy and crispy to be clearer, Mirchi bajjis to be most specific. Mirchi bada or mirchi bajji or mirapakaya bajjilu, call them whatever; they create a monsoon in the mouth itself!! Ah yea, we mean the mouth starts watering with the mere mention of the name! A popular chat item, also a special at Andhra homes, and known to be a part of the Rajasthani cuisine, the best mirchi bajji can be found, well anywhere it is made! Coz, mirchi bajjis are always the best! And with hara chutney, the heart is just celebrating! Well, keeping these exaggerating facts aside, a quick look at the recipe:
Thank you Mrs. Agarwal for the recipe and Pictures courtesy: Kamal Kiran.
Preparation time: 20-30 mins
Long and big green chillies (Bajji mirapakayalu/ Bada mirchi) 1/4th kg
Gram flour (Senagapindi/besan) 1cup
Carom seeds (Ajwain) 1tsp
Tamarind paste (chintapandu paste/ imli paste) 1tsp
Refined cooking oil
Salt to taste
Chopped mint leaves (pudina) 2 cups
Chopped coriander (dhania/kothimeera) 1cup
Large onion (ullipaya) 1
Lemon juice 2tsp
Sugar 1 tbsp
Green chillies 4 to 6
salt to taste
Wash and dry the chillies. Slit the chillies on one side vertically. Ensure not to slit it completely. Deseed the chillies and set aside.
Mix 2 to 3 tbsp of gram flour, a tsp each of ajwain and tamarind paste, and salt to taste to make it into a thick paste. Stuff the paste into each of the chillies.
Mix together gramflour, salt and water to a make the bajji batter. The batter is to be semi- liquid and consistent.
Heat oil in a pan/kadai(bandli/mookudu).Dip each chilli in the batter and fry in the pre-heated oil till golden brown. Remove onto a tissue/cloth to absorb the excess oil.
Serving tip: After frying the chillies, cut them with a butter knife slightly and fill them with finely chopped onions. Add a dash of lemon before serving.
Slice the onion and finely chop the mint leaves and coriander.
Add all the ingredients and a little water in to a blender and grind to a smooth paste. Note that the water should be very little as onions, coriander and mint are all watery veggies.
Remove and add water as per the consistency required and mix.
Refrigerate and use as required. The chutney when refrigerated is good for a week and can be used as a base for curries or even as a sandwich spread. For now, serve with Mirchi bajjis.
With rain trickling down the window panes and cool breeze swaying them, hot and crispy mirchi bajjis served with hara chutney and a hot cuppa masala chai will just mean “the moment of life”.