Pavakkai bajji - Bittergourd fries
gluten-free, trainer recipe with bittergourd.
for the batter
- 4 tbsp chickpea flour (heaped)
- 3 tbsp finger millet powder (ragi flour)
- 1/2 tsp red chili powder
- 1/8 tsp turmeric powder
- salt to taste
- 1 cup drinking water ( use only as required to make a thick batter.
- 1 large bitter gourd ( smooth bitter melon)
to make the fries - bajji
- 1 cup cooking oil ( any neutral oil that you use for deep frying, see further in recipe notes)
For the batter
Into a mixing bowl add the finger millet flour ( ragi), chickpea flour ( besan) , salt, red chilli powder and turmeric powder.
Mix the dry flours together and add water a little at a time. Mix it to form a smooth thick, lump free batter.
To prep the bittergourd
Wash and pat dry the bitter gourd.
Thinly slice the bitter gourd. Shake the slices well to remove the seeds.
Set aside till the oil is ready.
To make the fries
Heat oil in a heavy-bottomed kadai (wok) and set to medium heat.
Dip the slices of bittergourd in batter individually and place in the hot oil.
As the bitter gourd slices sizzle flip them over.
When the bubbles nearly reduce, remove the crispy fries on to adsorbent paper.
The fries are now ready to be served with green chutney or ketchup
Some pointers while deep frying
It is best not to reuse the oil that has been used for deep frying. To reduce the quantity of oil used in one-time frying I place about half-inch oil in a small heavy-bottomed pan. The oil is just enough to allow the bajji to float while deep frying. When this oil gets used up you can add another small quantity to continue frying.
Maintaining the temperature helps the bajjis not to absorb a whole amount of oil. This is where the heavy-bottomed pan comes handy. It maintains the heat achieved with medium constant heat.
To test if the oil is ready, drop a small bit of the batter into the hot oil (not smoking hot). If it sizzles instantly and floats the oil is ready.