Rajasthani Mirchibada

Rajasthani Mirchibada

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.

Mirchibada Stuffing


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.





Namak Para (Indian Savory Pastry)

Namak Para (Indian Savory Pastry)

Namak para is a popular savory tea time snack. It is a part of the variety of sweets and snacks made in marwadi homes during Diwali. This fried Indian pastry seasoned with cumin and carom seeds is a favorite with tea. My mom makes this snack in batches of huge tin boxes as every one at home loves to have them with the morning tea. This used to be a popular travel snack whenever we travelled. Namak para with lime pickle is an awesome combination.

The crunch of this snack should be like a pastry and that calls for ghee or butter to be added in the dough. You can use oil too but I like it light, flaky, and buttery. The basic rule of pastry applies with namak para too. Add all the dry ingredients before adding butter. Use cold butter and work quickly using your finger tips for a lighter pastry. The flour should resemble bread crumbs. If the fat you are adding is hot, it will absorb more oil while frying and the namak para will be heavier. Add cold water and add as less water as possible and add it gradually.  Do not over knead the dough. After you rest the dough, just knead it lightly.

You can make namak paras in any shape. The diamond shape is the most popular one in India. Fry the namak para on a slow or medium flame. Cumin and carom seeds are the most common flavours. You can experiment with other herbs too like kasuri methi or even oregano. Coarsely ground black pepper can be added for a hint of spice. Namak para can be stored in an airtight container for 3-4 weeks. These can be served with tamarind chutney or lime pickle.

Namak Para (Indian Savory Pastry)


  • 1 cup all purpose flour (maida)
  • 1 tbsp semolina (optional)
  • 4 tbsp Oil/butter
  • 1 tsp salt (you can add the salt as per taste)
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
  • ½ tsp carom seeds (ajwain)
  • Ice cold water
  • Oil for frying


Lightly pound the cumin and carom seeds. Mix the all purpose flour, salt, cumin and carom seeds. Rub the butter using finger tips. The flour should resemble bread crumbs. Add little cold water at a time and knead stiff dough. Cover with a damp cloth and keep aside for 15 minutes. Knead again lightly and divide the dough into four portions.

Roll each portion to a 1/8cm thick circle. Cut into desired shape. Diamond is the commonly used shape. Heat oil in a kadhai or a deep pan and fry the namak para on slow flame till they turn light brown on both sides.

Cool and store in an airtight container.