Pakoras are a commonly found dish in Indian cuisine. They are fried pieces of dough with mixed vegetables and spices cooked into them. There are many type of pakoras or bhajiyas available to please any palate – lentil, spinach, onion, chili, stuffed vegetable pakoras, etc.
One particular pakora, which happens to be a pretty popular one among the Indian communities who migrated from Africa, is “Maru Bhajiya.” It is a potato-based pakora that is dipped in a spiced chickpea flour batter and the fried till crispy and golden brown. The batter is seasoned with different Indian spices, garlic, cilantro, fenugreek and many other ingredients to make this really delicious crust around the potatoes. Simply put, its amazing! You have to try these pakoras to understand how delicious they are and why they are popular!
Traditionally, these bhajiyas are eaten with a tomato chutney – another type of Afro-Indian influenced sauce. It’s a veggie-based chutney that has sweet, spicy and salty elements to it and perfect with many fried foods. (Recipe is on blog.)
Check out my recipe for Maru Bhajiya and then try making it yourself. You will NOT be disappointed!
MARU BHAJIYA (Potato Fritters)
- 8 to 10 medium red potatoes (peeled, cleaned and cut into thin ¼” rounds)
- 4 Tbsp. chickpea flour (gram flour)
- 2 Tbsp. cornstarch (corn flour)
- 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
- 1 Tbsp. ginger paste
- 1 Tbsp. minced garlic
- 2-3 chilis (grated)
- 1 Tbsp. cilantro OR dried fenugreek
- 2 tsp. salt (can add up to 1 Tbsp if preferred)
- 1 tsp. turmeric powder
- Juice of ½ lemon (remove seeds)
- ¼ cup water + 2 Tbsp.
- 2-3 quarts of oil for frying
**NOTE: Rice Flour can be used as a substitute for Corn Flour – goal is to add some crisp to the potatoes while frying.
- Heat oil for frying in large pot or frying wok. (Keep temperature between 315-320 degrees F)
- In a mixing bowl, add chickpea flour, cornstarch, all purpose flour, ginger, garlic, chilis, cilantro/fenugreek, salt, turmeric, lemon juice and water. Mix till smooth and it looks like a semi-watery yellow paste.
- Once oil is hot, take small batches of the thin potato rounds and put them in the batter. Toss till fully coated, then pick up each potato piece and remove any excess (you want them thinly coated only) and fry in oil till golden brown and crispy – about 4 to 5 mins per batch.
- Remove once cooked and place on a napkin-covered plate to remove excess oil.
- Repeat steps 3 and 4 with remaining potatoes – frying them in small batches at a time with the remaining batter in bowl.
- Once cooked, place in desired serving ware and serve hot with any sauce or chutney.
Okay! So now that you’re thinking about making these bhajiyas (or pakoras), let me know what you think of my recipe!
Tag me on IG @cmspiceculture, comment below or catch me on FB at “Spice Culture Cooking.”