Walk through any Indian street during late morning or early evening and you are bound to get the delicious smell of deep-fried bhajjiyas bubbling away in big cauldrons of oil. I am catering to the masses here and calling them Bhajjiyas when actually where I come from they are known as Bhajjis. Or shall we call them fritters? The mere thought!
When I lived in India, we had bhajjiyas when it was wet and cold outside (our definition of cold is when the mercury drops to 25 degrees!) or as a snack when guests came over for tea – chai, bhajjiyas, and sweets or mithai – a good healthy tea! Not.
I became very attached to bhajjiyas when I did my post graduation in the city of Pune. The campus was in the back of beyond and food was provided by the canteen on site run by a grumpy geriatric who only made bhajjiyas and sabudana khichdi. Needless to say, the geriatric, who is no more, and I became best of friends and I was issued with endless plates of onion bhajjiyas.
However, as my mum says, the bhajjiyas made at home are infinitely better than the ones made outside and so it was with this thought that we bought a big, fat, aubergine and spent most of yesterday evening deep frying pieces of it in a batter of gram flour and spices. It was delicious, especially when had with moong dal and rice.
Here is our recipe for the bhajjiyas