I know. I know. I am giving you an over dose of chilies. First there was habanero chili salsa. Now there is jalapeño fritters. I think I am going through a phase where I am not able to stop eating peppers. Be it habanero, jalapeños or the Bhavnagari. I seem to love them all.
The chili fritters or the mirapakaya bajji always makes me nostalgic. Since these fritters are a very common street food in my home town, savoring these spicy fritters was almost an everyday affair. Hundreds have been the evenings where we enjoyed these batter coated chili fritters with steaming cup of tea. Strangely though, these fritters were never made at home. It was always brought from the push cart vendor from street corner. I vaguely remember the chili fritters that he made was way different from what I have for you today. His fritters were stuffed. But then the stuffing was mostly a mixture of the humble cumin seed powder and red chili powder. The stuffing was simple. But then, it transformed the plain chili into something aromatic and exotic. I remember we couldn't get enough of these crisp, batter coated peppers.
Despite all the nostalgia and the fond memories, I never thought of making these fritters at home. When I found these fresh jalapeños during one of my shopping trips, the memories came flooding back and I knew I had to make these at home. This recipe for the hyderabadi style mirapakaya bajjis were given to me by a neighbor and dear friend. I made a few changes to the recipe to suit our taste buds and outcome was delicious. The fritters were over even before I knew it. Do give this recipe a try and let me know if you like it.
Stuffed Jalapeno Fritters recipe:
Preparation time- 25min
Cooking time- 20min
Makes- 10 fritters
Jalapeno chilies- 10, washed and pat dried
For the stuffing:
Tamarind- Size of a small lime
Salt to taste
Ajwain or carom seeds- 1tsp
Saunf or fennel seeds- a pinch
Grated dry coconut- 2tbsp
Gram flour- 1tsp
For the Batter:
Gram flour or besan- 6tbsp
Rice flour- 1-1/2tbsp
Asafetida- a pinch
Paprika powder- 1/2 tsp
Water as needed
Oil to deep fry
- Make a 3" vertical slit in the green chilies and scoop out the ribs and seeds from the chilies and keep aside. You can choose to leave the seeds if you prefer your fritters extra hot.
For the filling:
- Soak the tamarind in quarter cup of water for 15mins. Extract the pulp and mix it with jaggery and salt.
- Transfer the tamarind mixture to a thick bottomed vessel and boil the mixture on low heat till the water is evaporated and a thick paste is formed. Take off the heat and set it aside.
- Dry roast the carom seeds and fennel seeds till fragrant (it doesn't have to turn brown) and set aside to cool.
- Dry roast the desiccated coconut for a few seconds and keep aside.
- Grind the toasted seeds and the grated coconut to a powder in blender till fine. Mix the gram flour and pulse till well combined.
- Add the ground mixture along to the tamarind pulp and mix to form a thick paste.
For the batter:
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the gram flour, rice flour, salt, paprika powder and asafetida and mix well. Add water gradually to make a thick batter and keep aside.
- Stuff each chili with a tea spoon of the stuffing mixture and keep aside.
- Heat oil in a wok. To check if the oil is hot enough, drop a little batter into the oil. If the batter rises to the top slowly, then the oil is hot enough.
- At this stage, add two tea spoons of the hot oil to the prepared batter and mix it carefully.
- Dip the stuffed peppers in the batter to coat completely and place it in the pre heated oil and fry till the fritter turns golden in color.
- Repeat the same procedure for the rest of the stuffed peppers. Drain on paper towels and serve immediately with a dip of your choice.