Mirchi Bajji (Mirapakaya Bajji, Chilli Bajji)

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Mirchi Bajji

Mirchi Bajji, more popularly known as Mirapakaya Bajji in Andhra Pradesh & Telangana is a popular street food snack made by batter frying green chilies. There are many versions of Mirchi Bajji enjoyed all over India. In Tamil Nadu it is known as Milagai bajji & in the rest of India they are well known as Mirchi pakora and Mirchi vada/bada. In this post I share the recipe to make Perfect Street style crispy-crunchy Mirchi Bajji with stuffing.

Mirchi bajji

Ask any Telugu speaking person about their favorite street food, you are likely to hear Mirapakaya Bajji! Mirchi Bajji with its alluring aroma & perfect crispy texture, is very much the most loved street food of South India.

You will see vendors making these all-round the year on the streets, on a push cart or in a small food stall. These get sold out the moment they are out of the oil & new customers keep waiting eagerly for their turn.

About Mirchi Bajji

Mirchi Bajji is a popular South Indian street fried snack made with gram flour, spices and green chilies. Mirchi translates to chilies and Bajji to gram flour fritters. For the uninitiated, Mirchi Bajji are green chilli fritters where fresh chilies are dipped in gram flour batter and deep fried to perfection, until crispy & aromatic.

Chilli Bajji are made much the same way all over India. To make Andhra style mirapakaya bajji, green chilies are optionally deseeded and sometimes smeared inside with spices mixed with a thick tamarind paste.

Once they are batter fried, they are stuffed with a mix of chopped onions, coriander leaves, salt, lemon juice and red chili powder.

You will see every home and every push cart (bandi) man has his own style of making the stuffing. In a lot of places these are not stuffed at all but still they taste super-duper delicious. You are likely to find roasted peanuts, mixture, chaat masala and a lot more garnishings in many places.

Stuffing is what makes these Mirchi Bajji an Andhra style Mirapakaya bajji. However I have seen a lot of people like the plain crispy mirchi bajji without the stuffing. If that’s what you like, simply skip the stuffings in this recipe.

Mirchi bajji with stuffing

You can also stuff with spiced potatoes to make these Rajasthani Mirchi vada/ pakora.

Normally Mirchi bajji is eaten on their own with Masala Chai, or as a side in a meal. In North Karnataka region, they are served with Puffed Rice Upma called as mandakki oggarne aka borugula upma (uggani) in Andhra.

How to make Mirchi Bajji (Stepwise photos)

Preparation – Green Chilies

1. Rinse the green chilies under running water very well. Wipe dry with a cloth or kitchen tissues.

fresh green chilies to make bajji

2. Take a butter knife and slit the chilies lengthwise (on one side), keeping intact the stem/stalk. This step is done to prevent the chilies from bursting while frying.

make a slit on the green chilli

3. If you want the bajji to be hot you can leave the seeds in and just make a slit as shown above. We do not prefer to remove the seeds as the flavor and heat of the chilies is lost. Also you risk the batter & oil entering into the chilli and remain undercooked. So our preferred method is to just slit the chilli. (more in pro tips section below)

Optionally If you want deseed them using a knife carefully without breaking the chilli. This helps in reducing the heat/ spice from the bajji.

pulling out the seeds off the chilies

4. Knock the chilies in the reverse direction to get rid of all the seeds. Prepare all the chillies this way if you want and keep them aside.

deseeding green chilies for making bajji

Prepare the Stuffing

5. Optional Andhra Style – Mix together crushed ajwain and salt. If you want you can mix with a teaspoon of tamarind paste (not water).

spices and tamarind for stuffing chillies

6. Add the ajwain and salt (or together with tamarind). I do not do this first stuffing normally as we don’t find any difference. The final stuffing is what actually make these awesome. So you may skip this step.

stuffing the chilies with spices

7. Final onion stuffing – To make onion stuffing, chop 1 small to medium onion as required. Add them to a bowl along with a little chopped coriander leaves. Keep this aside. You will add lemon juice and a dash of salt later, only when you are ready to serve. Also set aside chilli powder, chaat masala, roasted cumin powder and salt.

chopped onions in a bowl

Make Bajji Batter

8. To a bowl, add

  • Besan (gram flour)
  • corn starch or rice flour
  • salt
  • carom seeds
  • Baking soda (Soda bi-carbonate)

If you want you may add little chilli powder and turmeric as well.

add batter ingredients to a bowl

9. Mix all of them and pour ¾ cup water. Avoid adding a lot of water at one time.

pour water to flour

10. Make a smooth and thick batter, free of lumps.

thick smooth batter

11. Pour more water and make a batter that is not too thick or too thin. If you dip a chili into the batter, it should coat well. This is the right consistency. Taste test and add more salt if you want.

pour water to bring the bajji batter to consistency

12. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a kadai until hot. Pour the hot oil here. It should sizzle. This step prevents your mirchi bajji from soaking up oil while frying.

pour hot oil to batter

Fry Mirchi Bajji

13. Heat oil in a kadai on a medium flame/heat. When the oil is hot, drop a small portion of the prepared batter into the oil to test if it is hot enough for frying. The batter should sizzle and rise to the surface without turning brown. If it sinks it means the oil is not hot enough. So wait until hot.

14. Dip a green chili into the batter. Holding the stem, gently rotate it in the batter to coat the green chilli completely. If you have stuffed the chilies with spices, make sure the cut portion is sealed with the batter well.

dip green chilli in batter

15. Lift it and quickly drop it in the hot oil. We generally swipe one side of the chilli to the batter bowl before dropping to the oil. This helps you to easily cut and stuff the onion mixture later. This is just a tip if you want to do so.

coat green chilies with batter

16. Avoid disturbing them for a good 2 mins. Oil has to be hot enough when you drop them else they won’t puff.

frying bajji in oil

17. Later turn them to the other sides. Fry on a medium heat until golden and crispy.

stirring the oil to fry chilli bajji

18. Remove them to a cooling rack or a colander. After frying all the bajjis, double fry them on a medium to low heat to retain the crunch for longer.

remove fried mirchi bajji from oil

Stuffing Mirapakaya Bajji

Let them cool a bit and mix together the cut onions, coriander leaves, lemon juice, salt, chaat masala (optional).

cool bajji on a rack

Make incisions on the chilli bajji lengthwise. Stuff the onion mixture inside. You can also add some roasted peanuts or mixture if you want. If you want sprinkle some red chilli powder, roasted cumin powder and chaat masala. But none of these are done traditionally. Serve Mirchi bajji immediately.

Mirchi bajji, mirapakaya bajji

Why Homemade?

mirchi bajji mirapakaya bajji

Mirchi bajji made at home can be made with the best quality ingredients especially oil. Though this is a most common snack available we never buy from outside as the oil is reused and we really do not know what goes into making of these.

There are a few variations sold on the streets. I am sharing the recipe which we commonly make at home. Here are the tips that will be of great help if you are trying to make mirchi bajji at home for the first time.

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