The spicy Rajasthani mirchi vada is one of the popular street food. Mirchi vada (or mirchi bajji in south India) is a snack well known all over the country. What makes the Rajasthani mirchi vada unique, is the combination of spices used. The coriander, cumin, and fennel add a spicy touch to the vadas. Coupled with the spice from chilli and chilli powder, this deep-fried snack is fantastic in taste. In simple words - spicy mashed potato is filled inside the peppers, dipped in besan batter and deep-fried.
Bajji is a very common snack made in our homes when we grew up. Most of the vegetables can be dipped in besan batter and deep-fried. When I grew up, mirchi bajji was not very common in homes. When you go out, you may try it. There are filled and unfilled versions too. I have seen the version that is not stuffed but never tasted them as I couldn't take up the heat as a kid. But as you grow....your threshold also changes. One of my friend, Mrs MG, makes a different version with spicy chilli and we call it as Guntur bomb:-). That's the south version, I guess.
Coming back to the Rajasthani mirchi vada, they are traditionally made with Bhavnagiri chillies which are spicy. I don't get them here and hence substituted with banana peppers (my plants growing in my backyard gave an amazing yield, used them to make these), so adjusted the heat in the potato filling to make a spicy version. If you can't eat spicy food, just reduce the chilli and chilli powder, and enjoy the snack. In that way too, it is delicious. I make it like that for my kids. Yeah. two versions made every time. 🙂
I am posting this recipe for Blogging marathon #118 under the category Pick 3 states and one recipe from each state. This post is for the state of Rajasthan. Check here to know what others are making.
Banana peppers - 8 to 10
Potato - 2 cups, boiled and mashed
Salt - 3/4 tsp
Chilli powder - 1/4 tsp
Amchur powder - 1/2 tsp
Coriander cumin powder - 1 tsp
Crushed fennel seeds - 1 tsp
Turmeric - 1/4 tsp
Cilantro - 2 tbsp, chopped
Green chilli - 1 or 2, finely chopped
Oil - 2 cups, for deep frying
For the batter
Besan/chana dal flour - 1 cup
Turmeric - 1/8 tsp
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
Asafoetida - 1/8 tsp
Water - 1/2 cup
In a bowl, add the ingredients for the potato stuffing and mix thoroughly. Keep aside.
Wash the peppers and slit lengthwise. Taking care not to break the peppers, stuff generously about 2 -3 tbsp of the spicy potato stuffing. Repeat the same for all the peppers.
Heat oil in a kadai or pan. When it is hot, dip a stuffed pepper into the batter completely and drop into the oil carefully. Fry till golden brown. Drain in paper towel. Fry all the stuffed peppers similarly.
Serve with mint or cilantro chutney, coconut chutney, or even ketchup.