Bhajiya (Fried Chickpea-Battered Potatoes)
For this Mumbai street-food snack from Raghavan Iyer, chunks of potato are dredged in a light chickpea-and-rice-flour batter that is spiced with turmeric and chile powder. The potatoes are then deep fried until a golden crust forms and served with cilantro and tamarind chutneys. The spiced batter can be also used for other vegetables such as cauliflower and broccoli florets, sliced plantain, and eggplant. This recipe first appeared in the tablet edition of our August/September 2014 special India issue with Indrani Sen’s story The School of Small Bites.
- Canola oil, for frying
- 1 cup besan (chickpea flour)
- ¼ cups rice flour
- 2 tbsp. cornstarch
- ¼ tsp. ground turmeric
- ¼ tsp. baking soda
- ¼ tsp. red chile powder, such as cayenne
- Kosher salt, to taste
- 2 large Yukon Gold or sweet potatoes, peeled, quartered lengthwise, and sliced crosswise ¼” thick
- Cilantro and tamarind chutneys, for serving (optional)
- Heat 2” oil in a 6-qt. saucepan until a deep-fry thermometer reads 350°. Whisk chickpea and rice flours, cornstarch, turmeric, baking soda, chile powder, salt, and ½ cup water in a bowl until a smooth batter forms. Working in batches, dip pieces of potato in batter; fry, turning as needed, until golden and crisp, 6–8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer potatoes to paper towels to drain; season with salt. Serve with cilantro and tamarind chutneys if you like.