Bhajias, East African Snack, enjoyed especially in Kenya and Tanzania, a cultural import from the Indians dipped in a thick gram flour paste of spices ,herbs and fried until crispy.
Quick, Easy and Utterly Addictive!!! Words can begin to describe these fried potatoes – paired with chutney and you will be singing for joy.
So, you want to make fries that are not bland, good for the taste buds and somewhat healthy? Obviously potato fries aren’t inherently a healthy dish, but the spices add some nutritional value to this “puff up potatoes”.
One of my readers requested these crispy-fried potatoes. Just a quick glance through the list of ingredients and I said No way! How can I make a recipe that most of the ingredients are not on my nice list? Yes, I do have a nice and naughty list. No, just kidding. I just wasn’t inspired to make it.
Then while browsing my neighborhood Indian market, I met a very sweet lady, who is from Kenyan. Our conversation naturally moved towards food, like most of my conversations do.
We spend about 30 minutes reminiscing about our favorite after school snacks in Africa, hers turned out to be Bjaijas. Before we parted ways she said I had to try it and so I did. And guest what? I can see why see it is such a beloved snack or side in Kenya.
These Bhajias are too die for- Crispy, spicy and flavorful. These are definitely not your average bland. Boring potatoes fries. NOOO. You’ve got to make it.
The spices are pretty generic except the seeds and gram flour, which you can find at any Indian super market or just adjust to suit your taste buds.
- 2 large potatoes sliced thinly (I used russet)
- ½ cup gram flour
- 1 teaspoons minced ginger
- 1 tablespoon rice or corn flour
- 1-2 teaspoons spice cumin or coriander or carom seeds
- ½- 1 teaspoon hot pepper sriracha
- ¼ cup or more fresh herbs coriander, parsley or cilantro
- 1/3 cup water plus more
- 1/2 teaspoon salt or more adjust to taste
- In a large bowl combine gram flour, rice flour, ginger spice, hot pepper, salt and herbs.
- Add water a little at a time- enough to form a thick paste that coats the back of a spoon.
- Put potatoes in the same bowl, a small batch at a time and make sure each slice is coated.
- Let it rest for about 5-10 minutes to absorb the flavor
- Heat up a large skillet or cast iron with oil up to ½ inch- medium-high heat.
- Fry the bhajias batches, turning once, until golden brown, about 3-4 minutes. Do not overcrowd the pan (it will cause the bhajias to be soggy and absorb excess oil.
- Repeat process until all the potatoes has been fried . Do add more flour to the batter as needed when it thins out. Adjust with spices
- Using a slotted spoon, transfer bhajias to pan lined with paper towels.
- Serve warm with this kachumbari, ketchup or chutney