This year also I am getting lot of eggplants from my garden. I am kind of forcing (happily) myself to try newer dishes with each and every eggplant so that hubby doesn't notice any overload of the same vegetable this season :) Anyways my vegetable garden has been saving a little in my normal grocery expenses and he is wondering why:) Believe it or not, I won't be bored of this vegetable ever and waiting to get more:) In Tamilnadu we would call all the eggplants as Katharikkai which means kathari - summer ; kaai - vegetable.... but we would get this vegetable in the market in all seasons( any variety of eggplant is called as brinjal only in India ...no name like eggplant).
Here is one bajji (fritter) with eggplant, which my mom used to make along with sambar rice. I can remember those few weekends which were reserved for fasting and she would make her best to present us all a catchy lunch. Vegetarian lunch menu will get a thumbs up with any fried item like papad, vadai or bajji in our house. Even now when I talk with my inlaws they tells me how much my father inlaw likes the fries I make :)
Back to our bajji again, Bajji is a kind of pakora / fritter. It is a deep fried side dish made with any thinly sliced vegetable dipped in besan flour mixture. Try my version and enjoy a delicious SouthIndian food.
|Sliced eggplants and the besan flour coating dip.|
Ingredients (for 10 pieces) :eggplant (1 lb) - 1
Besan flour (kadalai mavu) - 3/4 cup
dosa batter - 1/4 cup
(or) rice flour - 2 tbsp
salt - to taste
red chilly powder - 1 tsp
hing (asafoetida)- 1/8 tsp
baking soda - 1/4 tsp
ajwain powder (bishop weed / omam) - 2 pieces (finely ground)
red food color - a pinch (optional)
oil - to deep fry (200 ml)
Method:Rinse the eggplant and trim off the top (bracts and stem). Slice it into thick (1/4 inch approx) round pieces, using a knife and cutting board. Don't use a chips maker, if it has nonadjustable blades.
Mix all the above (except oil) with 1/4 cup water to a thick batter. (If ajwain is not available then grind 2 cloves of garlic and add instead). Add more water if needed, but keep the batter like thick idly batter ,otherwise the bajjis will absorb more oil .
Heat oil in a wok. As it gets hot, reduce flame and keep in medium flame.
Dip the eggplant slices in the batter and put it on the hot oil. Flip and fry both sides . The eggplant would have been cooked within this short time. Drain oil and take out.
Eggplant bajji is ready!
Serving suggestions:Serve hot as snack along with hot coffee or tea during rainy / winter season.
Coconut chutney or tomato ketchup are good side dishes for these fries.
I made this as side dish with sambar rice.