Spicy Carrot Bhaji
Crispy, spicy bhaji, perfect for dipping in chutney, wrapping in roti, or chopping into bites and tossing in your salad. These are a high-protein, high-fiber addition to your meal, and are surprisingly versatile for a fried food. So long as they have a sauce to keep them company, they will be delicious. Grated carrots make these sweeter and lighter than other bhaji, but you could swap with shredded zucchini or sweet potato if you prefer. Fresh minced Serrano peppers add the heat in this recipe, but go ahead and omit them if you are worried about the heat. These vegan bhaji can be made gluten-free by using rice flour instead of the wheat flour.
- 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.