Cooking with Amma : Vazhakka Bajji / Vazhakkai Bajji ~ Raw Banana Fritters

July 19, 2011 · 18 comments

in Bananas,Cuisine : Indian,Cuisine : Kerala,Cuisine : Tam Brahm,Cuisine : TamilNadu,Snacks

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More recipes of teatime snacks that Amma made are here! It is supposed to be summer here but it just doesnt feel that way with the cloudy skies and the temperatures timid to go above 70-75 and some rains too along with that. But we are making the most of it with innumerous cups of chai and fried things to go with it :)

One thing about Amma being here and me helping her out with her cooking or sometimes just observing is that, I realise that most of what I cook is based on what I thought went into the dishes. I have been successful for the most part. But I have been completely missing out a few things here and there for some dishes sometimes and I always thought it was just the way every individual cooked that the taste was slightly different. I didn’t realise that that extra small one ingredient needed to go in there to make it taste very close to amma-made or paatti-made. Of course, when they make it, it IS different anyway :)

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When making bajjis/savory fritters, I never add rice flour to the batter, just besan and the spices. I vaguely remember Amma adding a little rice flour to the batter saying it will help hold the batter to the vegetable better and makes crispier bajjis too. But I have somehow only very rarely added that. I do it if I remember, but it is not there in my default bajji batter. And, yes, the little rice flour does make the bajjis taste a lot better. I should remember to make it a habit to add it from now on. That is the one of the “one little thing” I was talking about earlier.

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Bajjis made with Vazhakkai / Vazhakka /Kaya / Pachakka and sweet fritters called Pazham Pori / Ethakka Appam are the two most common “kadis” or snacks that you will find in any regular tea stall in Kerala. Vazhakka is raw plantain/raw banana but not the long plantains you get in stores here and not the raw version of the regular bananas too. These are smaller ones and you can find them in Indian stores (see pic above). I have never tried making this bajji withe regular raw plantain, so I am not sure how that will turn out to be.

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Vazhakkai Bajji / Vazhakka Bajji – The recipe

Ingredients:

  • Vazhakkai / Vazhakka / Raw Bananas – 2, peeled and cut vertically into thin slices (you can cut them in half once again too)
  • Besan (Gram flour) – 1 cup
  • Rice Flour – 1 tbsp
  • Red Chilli powder / Cayenne – 3 tsp ( it might seem like a lot, but I have seen that when you fry it, the heat goes down. To be safe – add some chilli, fry one batch, taste test and add more if you want)
  • Asafoetida powder – a pinch
  • Salt – to taste
  • Baking soda – a pinch, optional
  • Canola Oil – enough for deep frying

Method:

Mix the besan, rice flour, red chilli powder, asafoetida, salt and baking soda well. Add enough water to it to make it almost as thin a batter as for pancakes. Don’t make it too thin and it won’t stick to the bananas then.

Heat the oil in a pan till almost smoking hot, reduce the heat a little, but still on high. Dip the cut banana slices, one by one, into the batter and put them slowly in the hot oil. Turn them around after a minute or so and fry till golden brown. If the oil is too hot then the fritters will turn brown quickly but the insides and the banana would not have cooked properly. So, it is important to keep the oil hot enough so that it fried well and also not so hot that it doesnt get cooked.

Drain on paper towels and serve with tomato ketchup or coconut chutney and of course, a nice hot cup of chai!

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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

1 aipi July 19, 2011 at 6:16 pm

Scrummy! Those fritter must be so addictive and really delicious.
Call this cliche but anything especially food with mom’s touch magically becomes extra special!
US Masala

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2 Manju July 19, 2011 at 9:20 pm

:) Ive gotta agree with you on that :)

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3 Sharmilee July 19, 2011 at 10:04 pm

Nothing can beat this on a rainy day…looks very tempting

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4 nisha July 20, 2011 at 1:32 am

fried stuff and rains are such a good combo…even though im not a big fan of fried stuff, i fall prey to it when it cold and raining outside:)

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5 Manju July 20, 2011 at 11:24 am

Nisha – just imagine when its mostly cold and rainy here..im forever susceptible to these fried stuff now. Its my way of cheering myself up :)

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6 Arch July 20, 2011 at 10:27 am

Bajjis and tea – perfect rainy weather snack !!

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7 Namitha July 20, 2011 at 11:54 am

So true, rice flour gives that extra crispiness :-) So the cloudy skies are a blessing in disguise,you are getting some time to cook with your Amma, that too some great rainy day snacks like this :-)

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8 Manju July 27, 2011 at 4:44 pm

thats a great way of looking at it, Namitha :)

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9 Reshmi Mahesh July 20, 2011 at 12:20 pm

First time here…loved the recipes and beautiful clicks….Following ur space..
Bhajjis look superb…They are my fav too esp on rainy days…hot with a cup of tea…

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10 Manju July 27, 2011 at 4:44 pm

Thanks Reshmi. Let me quickly head over to your blog to check out some of your recipes too :)

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11 Tadka Pasta July 20, 2011 at 2:10 pm

Yeah, we love that bit of rice flour too. So nice that you have your Amma’s company in the kitchen, Manju, have fun!

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12 Maggie @ A Bitchin' Kitchen July 20, 2011 at 2:42 pm

I’ve never heard of banana fritters before! These look wonderful!

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13 torviewtoronto July 20, 2011 at 6:24 pm

delicious to snack on looks wonderful

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14 kankana July 21, 2011 at 2:27 pm

I am just a tad bit Jealous of you now ..eating yummy Mom cooked food :) This bajji is one of my fav during rainy days .. super quick to make and perfect with a cup of tea.

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15 Reeni July 26, 2011 at 5:55 pm

What gorgeous fritters! So perfectly cooked and making my mouth water! Scrumptious treats.

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16 Ruby July 28, 2011 at 8:39 pm

Munch….. reminds me of the Bhajji we used to have in Saravana Bhavan :(

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17 Radhika July 29, 2011 at 2:16 pm

Manju,
Rains and bajji are made for each other, something about the gloomy weather that sends us craving for fried food..
Vaazhakkai bajji is one of my all time favorites! Lucky you, enjoying your mom’s cooking..

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18 Vijayan.V.K. August 12, 2014 at 10:32 am

I think it is ideal to use turmeric powder to get good colour and it will eliminate poisonous substances in the batter.

Some cooks use curd, do you agree with the use of curd to the batter to make the bajji tasty.

I would like to know whether the frying equipment (Vessal) is aluminium or Cheenachatty (iron) is good. Let me know the advantages and disadvantages of both type of vessals.

Anticipate reply from the experts

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