Bajjis, bhajis or pakoras are Indian vegetable fritters I adore. They sort of remind me of the type of vegetable/rice fritters my mother used to occasionally make when I was a kid. She called them bolinhos de arroz, or rice balls. It was a creative way of using leftover rice. There was never waste at home and that was a good thing.
To make her bolinhos de arroz she would mix flour, baking powder, mild spices, eggs, water, left over rice, grated zucchini or chayote and just fry and serve them as an appetizer or side dish. I thought it was such a treat when she made it! But when you grow up and develop a taste for bold flavors then you replace bolinhos de arroz with bajiis.
You can make bajiis with peppers, eggplant, potatoes, or cauliflower; but my favorite ones have onions.
Here’s a simple recipe with a Brazilian-Indian approach.
red and white onion bajiis
1 medium sized white onion, thinly sliced in half-moon shape
2 medium sized red onions, thinly sliced in half-moon shape
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup chick pea flour
1½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp cayenne pepper powder
1 tsp kosher salt
2 large organic eggs, lightly beaten
½ tsp black pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground turmeric
½ bunch cilantro, chopped
3-4 tbsp cold water
Neutral oil such as canola for frying
Mix cilantro, sliced red and white onions together. Set aside.
Fill a skillet with about ½ inch of oil; bring oil temperature to high.
Meanwhile whisk flours, black and cayenne peppers, salt, cumin and turmeric powders together. Incorporate egg and water to make a thick batter. If too thick add a bit more of water. Fold in onions. Drop spoons full of batter into hot oil and fry for about 2-3 minutes on each side. Remove and drain on paper towels. Serve warm.