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Author Notes: Every Indian/Andhra soul would have tasted this quintessential street food at least once in their life time. Unlike Chat vendors who have different types of chat on the same cart, these vendors dedicate their carts exclusively to these fritters. My Dad used to bring these home while coming from work, wrapped in a crumpled old newspaper with some onions sprinkled over 4 or 6 Bajjis. As a kid, I never thought much of them, honestly. I craved for the Pav Bhajis and the Gol Gappas more. And, I never understood the yum factor in these until I moved out and came to the States. If I crave these now, the best you can get here are what are called the Cut Mirchi with some masala stuffed in and cut in two. But, the authenticity and the simplicity of the bandiwallahs' fritters are simply lost.
On a rainy day, I doubt if the mind does not wander to make Jalapeno fritters or for that matter, any fritters. Veggies generously dipped and coated with seasoned Chickpea batter, deep fried and eaten by the mouthfuls is what we as a family of 4 used to do on a rainy and a cozy weekend. Search on the internet for this recipe, rest assured, you will find gazillion different recipes, with and without stuffings. I am following my intuition in making this dish, trying to replicate the best Mirchi Bajji I ever tasted. I like a 1/8 tsp of thick tamarind pulp rubbed inside of the Jalapeno and then coat the outside with the Chickpea batter. —Shri
- 1 cup Chickpea Flour
- 1/4 teaspoon Chilli Powder
- 1/8 teaspoon Cumin Seeds
- 1/8 teaspoon Salt
- 1/8 teaspoon Baking Soda
- 1/8 teaspoon Caramom Seeds
- 1/4 cup Tamarind Pulp
- 1 Onion, finely chopped
- Oil for Deep Frying
- 4 Jalapeno Peppers
- Make a small slit in the Peppers without cutting through completely, no more than 3 inches (for a 5 inch Pepper)
- For a milder version, remove all the seeds from inside using a wet paper towel If you don't mind the heat, retain some of the seeds
- Place an 1/8th spoon of the pulp inside the Peppers and using your hands(wash them before and after with soap), gently rub the pulp to coat all of the inside Repeat the same for all the Peppers
- In a medium sized bowl, combine Chickpea Flour,Salt,Cumin seeds, Chilli Powder, Baking soda, Caramom seeds if using with enough water to make a thick batter.
- To check- the batter should coat the back of a spoon when dipped. Heat oil in a wok for deep frying. The oil should fill 1/2 to 2/3rds of the wok
- Check if the oil is ready by dropping a small drop of the batter. If the drop slowly comes up by changing the color, the oil is ready.
- Dipping one Jalapeno at a time, drop them carefully into oil. Please be careful as the oil will be smoking hot and an oil spill can cause unforgiving burns
- Cook till both sides are golden brown Place them on a tissue paper and drain the excess oil
- Make a small slit once again on the deep fried chillies Place a tablespoon of onions in the slit. Do NOT stuff it. Serve!