Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Spicy Rice Bhajiyas (Fritters)

Rice is a very staple diet for people in any region, be it Asia, USA or Europe. The beauty of these grains is that they can be cooked and savoured in various forms. Eat it alone, or combine with other ingredients to make a delicious meal! Easy to cook, easy to eat, and equally easy to use the leftover rice to make something unique the next day! I wonder what we'd ever do if it were not for RICE!! Its the perfect saviour when you are in a hurry and need to cook something really fast. And that's exactly what motivated me to try this dish that I describe below: "Bhaat na Bhajiya" (local dialect) or Rice Fritters; tasty, simple and very filling. My husband and in-laws love this so much, they often ask me to make more rice during the day so that the leftover rice can be used to make these in the evening!!:)

2 cups Cooked rice
1/2 onion
1/2 capsicum
1/2 potato
1/2 cup Spinach or Methi (fenugreek) leaves
1/2 cup chickpea flour (besan)
1 1/4 cup yoghurt
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp salt
2 tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp red chilly powder or 2-3 serrano chillies for more spice
Oil for frying

Mix the cooked rice and the yoghurt and keep aside.

Now chop all the veggies and spinach or methi leaves into small pieces. Add these, the spices and the baking soda to the rice mixture and mix well. Slowly add the besan, 2 tsps at a time and mix to break the lumps and form a nice thick blend that can be held between your fingers without any of it dripping below. It should not drip, yet it should not be hard enough to be rolled into balls.

Now heat the oil in a wok. Drop a small amount of the mix into the oil. If it comes up instantaneously, your oil has reached the perfect required temperature.

Lower the flame a bit and gently drop small balls of the rice mixture into the wok with your hand. Be careful as to not lower your hands very close to the oil. The oil might splutter a little, so stay far from the stove. Now let these fritters be cooked till they are golden brown on all sides. Turn them over using a long-handled ladle.

Remove from oil and place on a tissue paper to soak excess oil. There, your delicious fritters are ready!! They can be excellent appetizers for your party. Serve them with the Green Cilantro Chutney, ketchup or any of your favourite dipping sauce!! It tastes great with Queso too, by the way:)

We just love these spicy and tasty bhajiyas, and hope you enjoy them too!

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