Hits 5311 | Created 2009-09-21 | Modified 2009-10-05
These cheese and potato bhajis are a popular snack in north-west India. They are very easy to make and hard to get wrong! Best served with chilli sauce, chutney, curd or yoghurt.
Ingredients for Alingan Bhajis
1 lb potatoes
5 oz gram flour
1 x small onion
1 oz cheese, grated
2 x green chillis, chopped
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp cumin (roasted and ground)
1 x beaten egg
Optional: 1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
Oil for deep frying
Large, heavy bottomed pan, or wok
1. Peel, chop and boil potatoes until cooked. Mash, set aside without lid on the pan to cool a little. Note: In India they boil the potatoes whole in their skins, then peel them when hot.
2. Whilst potatoes are boiling, prepare your cumin: in a hot, dry frying pan, put the cumin in and shake until you can smell the cumin and it begins to brown. Remove from heat and grind in a mortar and pestle. You can use pre-powdered cumin but it is not so aromatic.
3. Start to heat your oil in your heavy pan or stable wok. It should be a couple of inches deep. Medium-high heat. Don't leave hot oil unattended.
3. Prepare your other ingredients: Copy the onion very finely, then mix together with the gram flour, grated cheese, chillis, baking powder, sugar, salt, cumin and coriander (if using). Mix well.
4. Add the mix to the mashed potatoes with beaten egg and mix well. The mix should be firm, not too damp, not too dry. Adjust seasoning to taste.
5. Your oil should now be hot enough to brown a bit of bread thrown in easily. Using two dessert spoons, make an oval shape, gently slide the bhaji off the spoon with the other spoon into the oil. Fry 4 or 5 at a time, depending on the size of your pan. They will take a few minutes to cook, turn them once or twice. Remove when dark brown, with a slotted spoon, and place on a rack to drain the oil off them.
Note, as the Alingan Bajis cool, turn them occasionally on the rack.
Served as a hot snack with chilli sauce, chutney, curd or yoghurt, or as a side-dish with a larger meal. Also good cold. Will last for 4-5 days in the fridge. Can be frozen - reheat in oven until hot to the centre.