The weather sure has started changing this side of the world and I'm completely dreading winter. This morning we had a wee bit of sunshine and made use of it by having coffee on our balcony. About an hour after that it was super windy and started drizzling....ladies and gentlemen, that's the UK weather for you, although...it turned out to be perfect weather for hot bhajji and chai.
Anyhoo, a cousin of mine was leaving London for good and I went over to her place to flick all her unwanted things and I found a cookbook she had kept aside to throw. I flicked it from her saying Id just keep it to fill the 3/4th empty bookshelf in our living room, knowing for a fact I'd never be cooking a single thing from the book. Well, well..surprised I was when I ended up flipping through it last night and stumbled upon this spring onion bhajji recipe and was a wee bit interested in finding out how it tasted. I am not a fan of bhajji at all, and was pretty sure I wouldn't really like it, but decided Ro might (he actually hates it too, kinda) and went about making it. I also suddenly decided it was 'finish everything in the fridge' day and so decided to use one brinjal which was crying out to me for attention. So I have basically adapted the recipe to use brinjal too. The outcome was pretty satisfying and a perfect accompaniment to an evening tea, especially if the rain is pitter pattering on your roof. Enjoy!
Recipe loosely adapted from River Cottage Everyday by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall
Brinjal/ Eggplant- 1 large, washed, patted dry and sliced into rounds
Spring onions- 100gms, trimmed and diagonally chopped
Gram/ Besan flour- 60gms
Plain flour- 20
Chilli powder- 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder- 1/2 tsp
Fresh coriander leaves- 3 tbsp, finely chopped + enough to garnish
Water/ Beer- enough to make a thick batterSalt- to taste
Pepper powder- to taste
OIl- to deep fry (I used about 3 tbsp to shallow fry)
In a big bowl sift together the flours, coriander powder, chilli powder, pepper powder and salt.
Mix in the spring onions and the coriander leaves and then add enough water or beer to until you get a smooth, thick batter. Not too loose though.
Add the brinjal slices to the batter and stir until well coated.
Heat the oil in a frying pan and keep it on medium heat. Getting the oil to the perfect temperature is a trick I suppose. The book says, drop a slice of bread and it should turn crisp in about a minute, no faster.
Scoop in about 4 to 5 slices of brinjal into the oil and fry for 3 to 4 minutes, till cooked through. Do not over crown the pan and cook in batches if required.
Drain on paper towels, sprinkle some coriander leaves and serve with raita or chilli sauce.
Notes: If you are not using brinjal, Its fine...just that instead of adding the spring onions along with the coriander leaves, do it only after you make the smooth batter and then drop heaped teaspoons into the oil and fry.
I would add about a half tsp cumin powder as well the next time.