Maru bhajias

How many times do you get that craving for maru bhajias? I’m also pretty sure you have a favourite spot where you get your fix. I haven’t met anyone who doesn’t.  Well, I have news for you, you’re favourite spot for these yummy bites is about to be home!

how beautiful are they? yum yum!
how beautiful are they? yum yum!

If you search the internet you will find a countless number of recipes, some with a countless number of ingredients — yes, I’ve tried. It can be so overwhelming. So when I was over at my neighbour’s house for tea about three weeks ago and had a taste of these babies I just had to ask how he made them. Yes, you read right, he. He learned the recipe from his mother and it’s so simple. He gave it with such detail description. He talked about the thickness of the batter and how to balance the ingredients (without actually giving any quantities).

Have you watched Today’s Special? Not a blockbuster, just a foodie movie with heartwarming kitchen scenes! He he he! Seriously though, if you have, do you recall the scene where Akbar the cab driver/chef was telling Samir how to mix his spices? Samir was busy fussing about quantities and Akbar was telling him to just do what he feels?  It was something like that. I went back later to ask what the spice was that he had mentioned and  he pulled out his spice tray to show me, nothing was labeled! Just little containers with spoons in them, just like in that movie! Ok enough about that, let’s get to the recipe, here is what you will need:

Fresh methi/fenugreek leaves
Fresh dhania/Coriander leaves
Potatoes, peeled and sliced
1 cup gram flour
2 cups water
Salt to taste
1 teaspoon ajwain/carom seeds

the gram flour
the gram flour

Ok, quick side note: I was not given quantities, I was told what not to put too much of and how the thickness batter should feel so the quantities I’ve used are just what I felt, from what I was told. Worked out very well, but feel free to adjust to your taste as you make and discover.

the herbs
the herbs
the amount of methi/fenugreek leaves I used
the amount of methi/fenugreek leaves I used, about three cuts from the top
the amount of coriander/dhania leaves I used
the amount of coriander/dhania leaves I used, about 10 cuts from the top as well
the two herbs chopped up and ready
the two herbs chopped up and ready
the ajwain/carom seeds
the ajwain/carom seeds, one level teaspoon
all the ingredients together in amixing bowl and ready to be whisked together
all the ingredients together in a mixing bowl and ready to be whisked together
and the batter is ready!!
and the batter is ready!!

This is a good point to taste the batter to test for salt, just a little bit. Add if needed. Or you can also wait to taste from the first batch then add salt to the batter in needed for the rest.

the potatoes chopped up
the potatoes, sliced

Don’t go too thin on the potato slices, you’ll make crisps — unless that’s what you want (^_^).

So you can dip the potato slices in one by one and add them to the hot oil, but you'd have to keep stirring the batter so that it doesn't settle. Instead, I found it easier to add many many potatoes to the batter and then pull them out one by one and put them into the hot oil
So you can dip the potato slices in one by one and add them to the hot oil, but you’d have to keep stirring the batter so that it doesn’t settle. Instead, I found it easier to add many many potatoes to the batter and then pull them out one by one and put them into the hot oil

Pre-heat the oil, but don’t let it smoke, that’s too hot. The batter will burn before the potato cooks. Put in one potato slice to test, if it sinks to the bottom and stays there then the oil is not ho enough yet. If it comes back up sizzling then the oil is ready. Fry till they start to get a hint of golden.

I would also suggest using  wide pot with about an inch of oil. Unlike fries, you can’t really stack these on top on each other they’ll just stick together. Better to do one layer at a time, and a wide pot/pan will have more space so you’ll finish faster.

yummy!
yummy!
very thin coating of the batter. Remember this is not gram flour with potato.
very thin coating of the batter. Remember this is not gram flour with potato!
you see? it looks like there's hardly anything there but let me tell you these babies are packed with flavour
you see? It looks like there’s hardly anything there but let me tell you these babies are packed with flavour
make them! enjoy enjoy enjoy!
make them! enjoy enjoy enjoy!

Husband Rating: ★★★★★★★★★☆

As is with many dishes you can customise this to your palette. If you like a some heat in your maru bhajias feel free to chop in fresh chillies or add chilli flakes to the batter according to your taste. Try making these yummies this weekend and let me know how you like them!

About aika

Making, eating and sharing good food are a splendid way to start, brake and end a day! I post good eats on www.pendolamama.co.ke. Life is a feast, eat up!

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