Whose up for a little snacking?
Bhajjias,Bhajjis or Baja whichever way you prefer to call them are to me the most addictive street food you will find yourself getting hooked on. Here in Mauritius it is fondly being called as the Baja Les Courses(Races) or Baja Champs De Mars. Street food holds a major place in the heart of Mauritian traditional food.Because to be honest, it is there every single day and makes up our day also. Those who have tried will definitely tell you how much it is widely consumed here and also how much of a joy it is. So is the Baja Les Courses! Why Baja Les Courses? Because these little balls of sheer pleasure got their name from there itself.We all know how the Saturday Races form part of our rich Mauritian culture and how much people love going there. And any gathering doesn’t go without the traditional Mauritian food. I still remember how Mum would narrate her childhood memories connected to this with great excitement. She says her brother would take them there on most Saturdays and how these Bajas would go unnoticed.Pipping hot and smelling so divine, you truly can’t resist them. They were freshly made in front of you and she says they were so hot really but then this is where the heaven part lies. Oh good old memories! A day at the Races it was! The second best place you can find them are at the market and funny but I always come back for a second buy whenever I am at the market.One when I get into and one before I leave. Oopsy.Told you they were addictive really with a big spoonful of chutney over! Oh mine!
Preparation time : 50 mins
Cooking time: 20 mins
- 200g of gram flour or chickpea flour (Sifted)
- 100g of all purpose flour (sifted)
- 1 tsp of dry red chilli flakes
- Pinch of food colourant (Optional)
- Pinch of bicarbonate of soda
- 1/2 a cup of finely chopped coriander leaves or Spring onions (I used finely chopped chives)
- 1 cup of water
- Vegetable oil for frying
- In a large bowl,combine all the dry ingredients.
- Slowly incorporate the water into the dry mix in order to obtain a batter and leave to rest for 30 mins.
Note: The batter should be of a thick consistency.
- Half fill your frying pan with vegetable oil and leave to medium hot.
- With the help of a small spoon, drop the batter one at a time by constantly stirring so that they puff up.
- Remove and strain on a paper towel in order to get rid of excess oil.
- Best served with coriander chutney or any sweet chilli sauce of your choice.
So addictive really! Once laid in front of you, you will come back for more and it always feel like you aren’t enough. long with a hot Chai (Tea), this is so heaven. I love to brew a nice hot cardamom tea along with a fiery hot chutney and trust me for a moment, this is all what happiness is really!
I am sure you heard of them too as they are most commonly known as Pakoras and so fondly love by everyone. A great tea treat really whenever you have families or friends visiting. Still I know many that would add extras to the batter like finely diced onions,birds eye chillies or even thyme etc. All just for an add on flavour to the bhajjias really. I wanted to keep it simple and just like being sold almost anywhere around the island.
If you have a great love story with bhajjias, I would love to be part of it. So do not hesitate to write to me and also if you have some extra tips or even another way of making bhajjias,I would be more than glad to learn.
Much love always!