March 02, 2022

Vazhakkai (Artikaaya) Bajji | Kela Bajjiya | Raw Banana fritters - Restaurant style


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Bajji is what we call in Tamizh for Bhajiya or Pakoras.  As much as we relish bajjiyas like Aloo Bajjiya , Mirchi Bajjiya ,Bread Bajjiya ,there is a very special place for Vazhakkai Bajji a.k.a Raw Banana or kela bajji. Artikaaya Bajji or Baalekaai Bajji are the names used in Telugu and Kannada for this lipsmacking and traditional tea time snack. 

Vazhakkai Bajji tastes heavenly with coconut chutney and strong filter coffee. It is very easy to prepare bajji at home if we have gram flour (besan) and rice flour handy . No extra spices except red chilli powder ,salt and asafoetida. 

Undoubtedly, my Amma and paati would make amazing bajjis at home but I have very fond memories of enjoying  these vazhakkai bajjis at a small yet very famous eatery in King circle ,Bombay.  Anand Bhavan is a very famous hotel which serves amazing South indian items on the menu. Even to this day ,the restaurant serves in steel plates and very simple and humble seating arrangement and presentation with taste par excellence . 

There used to be 3 to 4 pieces of kela bajji served on a small steel plate with tasty coconut chutney served on the side or to be precise the bajjiyas will served over a bed of coconut chutney .  Those days during my childhood eating out was a pleasure as it was  not  common as today ,also swiggy and zomato were non existent . These small things meant a lot of pleasure in my childhood. 


This month in our Facebook group of food bloggers, Aruna suggested we share recipe of restaurant style food ,but made at home . It indeed is a wonderful theme to replicate our favorite recipe from our favorite restaurant at the comfort of our home.  For a bajji loving family that we are ,I plan to try Aruna's Stuffed chilli bajji as I have some delicious Bajji Chillies in my fridge .bajji chillies are a special variety of chillies which hardly have any heat in them and is best for deep frying .
I had many recipes on my mind, but I finally zeroed down  on this yummy and crispy vazhakkai bajjis as the weather was little chilly and all at home were craving for something  deep fried and spicy. 
I was paired with Seema of Mildly Indian for the theme and she has dished out a delicious  Madras Curry / Vegan Cauliflower curry which is a famous menu in the restaurants of Australia. 


Preparation Time - 15 mins
Frying Time - 20 to 25 mins
Complexity - medium 
Serves - 3 to 4


Ingredients 

2 medium sized raw banana / Artikaya/kacha kela /vazhakkai 
1 cup gramflour/besan/kadalai maav
2tbsp rice flour 
1.5tsp red chilli powder
Pinch of asafoetida 
Salt as needed 
Oil to deep fry 

Method


  • Sift the gram flour,  salt, rice flour, chilli powder into a wide mixing bowl .
  • Add asafoetida and 1/2 cup water and make a thick batter of dropping consistency. Adjust salt and spice level if needed . Whisk /beat the batter to well to induce aeration.  This step makes the batter light and fluffy or you can add 1/2 tsp cooking soda . 
  • Peel the skin of the raw bananas and slice them into medium thick long  slices (refer pic 1 in above image) using a knife or slicer. Soak it in cold water to prevent it from turning black. 
  • Heat the oil in a deep thick bottom kadai/frying pan.
  • Take 3 or 4 slices of raw banana from the water and drain excess water on a kitchen  towel .
  • Dip the slices in the gram flour batter and drop it into the hot oil . 
  • Turn the flame to medium and fry until the bajjiyas turn deep golden brown in color and the oil stops to sizzle .
  • Drain in a colander or on kitchen  tissue and serve hot with chutney or sambar .

Tips 
  • If you are unable to cut into long slices ,you can make round slices too .
  • Donot overcrowd the kadai with too many bajjiyas as they won't get fried properly. 
  • When you drop the bajjiyas into the oil the flame must be high,but gradually reduce it to medium else the raw banana slice and inner side of batter will remain u cooked .

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17 comments:

  1. Raw banana bajji is one of my favorite evening snack now.Loved your crispy and tempting bajji's alot.When compared to my hometown, here in Chennai we get fresh raw bananas regularly.

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    1. Thanks Aruna .you are right chennai is a city of bajji lovers especially vazhakkai ..there will hardly be any shop that will disappoint you over kela bajji

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  2. Once a close friend here gave me this baji and we loved it. Thanks for the detailed recipe, I would definetly give this a try.

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    1. Awaiting your feedback . I am glad you found the recipe useful :-)

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  3. Priya love how the vazhakkai look so crispy and crunchy. Tempted to make these as soon as I get some raw banana. Childhood food memories stick with us, bringing a smile whenever we remember them.

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    1. Thanks dear. Ya childhood memories never fade away as they are probably the best ones before we knew what the world has in store for us

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  4. Is this Anand Bhavan same lane as Asthika samaj or the one on the main road opp the flyover (next to the ice cream store)? Neverthless, the bajji looks super tempting.. MAtunga and its small eateries truly have an old world charm.

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  5. Amazing! Agree that eating in restaurants were not very common during our childhood. My dad gets vazhakai bajji in restaurants when we go and your Vazhakai bajji reminds of the restaurant version exactly! YUM!

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  6. Raw banana fritters looks so crispy crunchy and absolutely delicious. Loved your well explained recipe. Same way I make eggplant fritters or beguni but never made with raw banana. I would love to try it soon.

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  7. Vazhakkai bhajji looks so crunchy and super delicious. I love to have them with a hot cup of tea. The step by step photo make the recipe very easy to follow.

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  8. Raw Banana fritters look oh so tempting ! Perfect crispy crunchy texture. Yummilicious!.

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  9. It's been a long time I had these Vazhakkai Bajji. It used to be made regularly back home, tasty side dish.

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  10. Raw banana fritters looks so crispy and crunchy.... Love to have these absolutely delicious bhajiya. I would love to try it soon.

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  11. Raw banana bajji is a hot favourite at my place . Just need some fresh filter coffee to polish it off. Your bajji looks super crunchy and delicious. You are tempting me to make it now Priya.

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  12. Never tried raw banana fritters, these sound delicious. Will be perfect with cup of gram gram chai. I am trying to make these soon.

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  13. Vazhakkai Bajji is a favourite evening snack at our place, especially on rainy days. Love how crunchy yours look. I'm sure they tasted absolutely delicious. 🙂

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  14. Vazhakkai bajji and suda suda kaapi!! That is the combo I can never say no to! The coating on your vazhkkai bajji looks exactly like the restaurant one too! I dont think I can wait any longer.

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