Crispy Potato Bhajia (Maru’s Bhajia)

These crispy bhajias are also called Maru’s bhajia.  Maru is the name of a restaurant in Nairobi and Wembley and they make these crispy potato bhajias which once you eat them  – you never stop talking about them.  These bhajias taste much nicer than the huge doughy bhajias you see in the supermarket as you can taste the vegetables and the spices.

My recipe makes bhajias similar to Maru Bhajias.

Ingredients:

5-6 medium white potatoes
1 cup chick pea flour
¼ cup rice flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon chilli powder (optional)
1 teaspoon ajwain (Carom seeds)
1 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
Pinch of turmeric
Pinch of soda bicarbonate
Very small bunch of finely chopped coriander
1 teaspoon of a mixture of minced green chillies and ginger (optional – nice if you like hot and spicy food.)

Method:

1. Peel and slice the potatoes. My potato grater has 2 sizes and I chose the thicker slices.

2. Wash and soak the potato slices in salted water for 15 minutes.

3.  Mix the salt, pepper, (chilli powder) ajwain and turmeric with the chick pea and rice flour.

4.  Sprinkle this mixture thinly on a tray.

5.  Sprinkle some coriander, chillies and ginger mixture thinly on the  flour mixture.

6. Drain the potatoes and layer them on top of the flour and spices.

7. Sprinkle the  flour mixture on top of the potato slices topped by the coriander, chilly and ginger.

8. Repeat this until all the potatoes have been used up.

9. Let this mixture marinate for 30 minutes.

10. Add the bicarbonate of soda to the mixture now and using your hands, mix the potatoes well until they all get thinly covered with the flour and spices mixture. The salt and washed potatoes should create some moisture to enable you to cover all the potatoes with the spicy chickpea flour. If it’s too dry, sprinkle some water droplets into the mixture.

11.  Heat some oil in a wok and fry the potato bhajias. Keep the heat high for the oil. Check that it’s reached the temperature for putting a couple of drops of the potato mixture. If it rises quickly to the surface, your oil is ready. Now lower the heat and fry the bhajias at medium heat to allow them to cook well and crispy. You may need to adjust the heat occasionally to ensure the bhajias become crispy.

12. Enjoy them with any chutney or dip.