Mirchi bada in Rajasthan or mirchi bhajji is South is a delicious street food made of thick and long green chillies dipped in gram flour and deep fried. It perfectly complements piping hot tea on a rainy day. For a very long time, this was our Sunday special snack along with other bhajiyas. In Rajasthan and at my home too, the mirchi bada is stuffed with a potato filling which is slightly sour and cuts the heat of chillies.
It is a good idea to deseed and boil the chillies for few minutes. It helps to reduce the heat in chillies. Remember not to make the batter too thin or it won’t stay on the chillies. Traditionally, roasted cashews and anardana are added to the filling but I like to add roasted peanuts and tamarind paste to add a sour kick to the spicy chilli. In south, it is slit open after frying and topped with finely chopped onions and masala peanuts. Whether you decide to serve it the south Indian or the north Indian style, remember to serve them hot. That is when they taste the best. This snack is best served hot along with mint or tamarind chutney.
Makes 8-10 Mirchi Badas
- 8-10 long green chillies (the less hot ones used for Mirchi bhajjis)
- Finely chopped onion (optional topping)
- Masala peanuts (optional topping)
- Oil to fry
For the filling
- 2 potatoes boiled and peeled
- 3-4 tbsp groundnuts roasted and coarsely grounded
- 1 green chilli finely chopped
- ½ tsp red chilli powder
- 2-3 pinches turmeric powder
- ½ tsp anardana powder (can be swapped for ¼ tsp aamchur powder or ¼ tsp tamarind pulp)
- Salt to taste
For the batter
- ½ cup gram flour (besan)
- 2 pinches turmeric
- ¼ tsp red chilli powder
- ¼ tsp carom seeds (ajwain)
- Salt to taste
- Chilled water (approximately ½ cup) to make batter
Slit the chillies along their length to make a pocket for the masala. Deseed them and boil them in rolling hot water for 3-5 minutes. Drain and keep aside.
To prepare the filling, mix all the ingredients for the filling and mash them using hand or a potato masher. You can choose to add amchur or anardana powder instead of the tamarind paste. Idea is to add a hint of sourness to the filling. You can add all the spices as per taste to make the filling more or less spicy.
Take one boiled chilli at a time and fill it with the potato filling. Do not over fill the chillies. Keep them aside till you are ready to fry them.
For the batter, Mix the gram flour, turmeric, red chilli powder, carom seeds and salt. Add little water at a time to make a paste consistency batter. It should stick to the chillies when you dip them in water. It took me a little less than ½ cup of water to get the right consistency. Using ice cold water to make batter for bhajiyas helps them become crispier.
Heat oil in a kadhai. It should not be smoking hot. To check if the oil has reached correct temperature, just drop a tiny bit of batter in the oil. If it sizzles and floats immediately, the oil is hot enough to fry the chillies. Dip a potato filled chilli in the batter and ensure that it’s properly coated. Drop it carefully in hot oil and fry until golden. Fry few chillies at a time. Drain them on an absorbent paper and serve hot with mint or tamarind chutney.