Baingan Bhajjiyas

Baingan BhajjiyaWalk 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

Baingan Bhajjiyas

Serves 4
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 40 minutes
Total time 50 minutes
Pieces of aubergine deep fried in a spicy batter.


  • 1 large aubergine (cut into thin slices)
  • 2 cups Gram flour (this is called Besan in India)
  • 2 cups sunflower oil (this quantity is approximate. You might need more)
  • 2 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp. chilli powder
  • A handful of coriander leaves (chopped fine)
  • 1 cup of water
  • Salt to taste


One of the pitfalls in making bhajjiyas is that you could land up with very oily ones. Make sure you drain the oil before you get the fried bhajjiya out of the wok, and then place it on a tissue to absorb any excess oil.


Step 1
This is the aubergine you need to buy in the supermarket. Slice it into thin pieces and immerse in a bowl of water. This prevents the aubergine from becoming black.
Step 2
bhajjiya batter
Mix the spices, salt and coriander into the gram flour, add in a teaspoon of oil and all of the water. Mix to make a paste that is slightly thick in consistency, but not too thick.
Step 3
Heat a large quantity of oil in a wok and when it's hot dip in an aubergine slice into the gram flour paste and put in the wok.
Step 4
Fry until it is brown on both the sides.
Step 5
Continue for the rest and try not to eat as you go along!