Mirchi bajji, commonly referred to as chili bajji or mirapakaya bajji, is a well-known street food and snack in India. It is a delightful gluten free and vegan snack that's perfect for indulging in on a rainy day or as an appetiser on special occasions.
Typically, large green chillies are filled with a mixture of crushed cumin, ajwain and salt, coated in spiced gram flour batter, and deep-fried until crispy and golden brown.
The combination of spicy chilies and a crispy, flavorful outer layer is what makes Mirchi bajji so well-loved. These are dangerously addictive because of their crispy, spicy, and flavourful taste.
Mirchi bajji and uggani are beloved in Karnataka for their delicious and satisfying flavour combination. The soft and light uggani complements the spicy and crispy mirchi bajji, resulting in a delightful combination of tastes and textures that is loved by many.
Northern Karnataka is known for its love of mirchi bajji and uggani, especially during special occasions and festivals. It is a popular choice at tea stalls and eateries, thanks to its unique blend of spicy, savoury and crunchy flavours. They are also often featured on menus on special occasions.
- Green chillies: choose any mild heat plump variety chillies. Both short or long varieties could be used. I have used Spanish padron chilli peppers.
- Flour: gram flour also called besan and rice flour is used to make a batter.
- Liquid: water to make a batter and oil for deep frying bajjis
- Spices and other ingredients: cumin, ajwain (carom seeds), baking soda and salt
See the recipe card for quantities.
How to make mirchi bajji?
Place cumin seeds, ajwain and salt in a mixer jar.
Grind it to a coarse powder and set it aside.
Spice blender or coffee blender could be used instead of a mixer jar to grind the spices.
Wash and slit the green chilies lengthwise on one side keeping the stalk intact, and remove the seeds.
Use a small spoon to stuff each slit chili with a mixture of cumin and carom seeds. Repeat the procedure for the remaining chillies and set aside all stuffed chillies.
Heat oil in a deep frying pan or kadai over medium heat.
Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, combine gram flour, rice flour, salt, a pinch of baking soda, and hot oil to prepare the batter. Stir well with a spoon.
Add water gradually and mix until the batter becomes smooth and thick, similar to pancake batter.
Dip the prepared stuffed green chilies into the batter, ensuring they are fully covered.
Carefully slide the coated chilies into the hot oil. Fry them in batches to ensure the pan doesn't get overcrowded.
Fry bajjis until they turn golden brown and crisp. Flip them carefully once or twice for even cooking.
Remove the mirchi bajjis from the oil using a slotted spoon and place them on a plate lined with a paper towel to remove excess oil.
Serve stuffed mirchi bajji hot with mint chutney, tamarind chutney, or a cup of tea.
Substitutions and Variations
Stuffing for Mirchi Bajji: Instead of cumin ajwain try different stuffing for flavour variation and unique twist. Try some interesting stuffings such as spiced potato masala, paneer, or a blend of grated coconut and spices.
Different Chilies: Experiment with different types of chilies to vary the spice level and flavour. Try using jalapeños, poblanos, or other local varieties instead of padron chilli peppers.
Spicy Version: For a fiery kick, leave the chilli seeds in and add a pinch of spicy red chilli powder to the batter.
Chaat-Style Bajji: Sprinkle a teaspoon chaat masala, red chili powder, chopped coriander leaves and a squeeze of lemon juice on the fried mirchi bajjis for a tangy and spicy kick.
Lime juice enhances the flavor of hot and crispy bajji and goes well with a refreshing onion salad.
Mirchi bajjis are at their best when they are fresh and crispy. Although you can store leftover bajjis in the fridge, they won't be as fresh in terms of texture and taste.
Fridge: Place the leftover mirchi bajjis in an airtight container or zip-top plastic bag and store them in the refrigerator. It ensures their freshness and safety for an extended time. Keep the container or bag tightly sealed to avoid any refrigerator odors from getting in.
Reheat: When you’re ready to eat the stuffed bajjis, reheat them in an air fryer. This will help restore a little crispiness. You can also reheat them in an oven for a similar result.
Tips and Tricks
Choose the Right Chilies: Use mild green chilies like padron chilli peppers, banana peppers or Anaheim peppers. These chilies are less fiery, making them a better choice for this snack.
Slit and Seed Chilies Carefully: Slit the chilies lengthwise and remove the seeds if you want to reduce the heat. This step can make the bajjis less spicy.
Batter Consistency: Ensure that the batter has the right consistency. It should have enough thickness to coat the back of a spoon, but not too much. Adjust the water or flour quantity as necessary. Too thick batter results in hard bajjis and the thin batter won't coat chillies well.
Baking Soda: Adding a small pinch of baking soda can make the batter lighter and crispier. So try not to omit it.
Heat the Oil: Heat the oil to the right temperature before frying. Drop a small amount of batter into the oil to check if it's hot enough. If it sizzles and rises to the surface, the oil is ready.
Fry in Batches: Avoid overcrowding the frying pan or kadai. Fry the mirchi bajjis in multiple batches to ensure they cook evenly and turn crispy.
Batter Coating: Ensure the chilies are evenly coated with the batter. This helps in creating a uniform and crispy texture.
Drain Excess Oil: After frying, place the mirchi bajjis on a plate lined with paper towels to remove excess oil. This prevents them from becoming greasy.
Serve Hot: Mirchi bajjis are best enjoyed when hot and fresh. Serve them immediately with chutney or sauce of your choice.
Be Cautious with Chilies: Be mindful of handling chilies. Avoid touching your face or eyes. Make sure to wash your hands thoroughly after handling chilies.
Sieve the flour: Ensure to sieve the gram flour before making the batter to break the lumps and to eliminate any debris or impurities if present.
Heat oil: Ensure to heat oil over medium flame. By using medium heat, you can keep the oil temperature stable and controlled. The oil can quickly overheat with high heat, resulting in uneven cooking and possibly food burning.
Freezing bajjis is not an ideal option.
Use up the batter to make onion or potato bajjis if you run out of chillies. Coat onion or potato slices in the batter and fry till golden brown and crispy.
KEEP IN TOUCH
Do let me know if you make this crispy and spicy Indian street side snack stuffed mirchi bajji. If you like this recipe kindly consider rating it using stars in the comment section or on the recipe card to help more people find this recipe online. You can stay up to date by following me on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram or subscribing to my Youtube channel. Or why not subscribe to my blog and get simple recipes straight to your inbox?
📖 Recipe Card
1 Cup = 250ml ; 1 Tablespoon = 15ml ; 1 Teaspoon = 5ml
- 1 Tablespoon Cumin seeds
- 1 Tablespoon Carom seeds/Ajwain
- Salt as needed
- Place cumin seeds, ajwain and salt in a mixer jar.1 Tablespoon Cumin seeds, 1 Tablespoon Carom seeds/Ajwain, Salt
- Grind it to a coarse powder and set it aside.Spice blender or coffee blender could be used instead of a mixer jar to grind the spices.
- Wash and slit the green chilies lengthwise, remove the seeds.8-10 Padron Chilli Peppers
- Use a small spoon to stuff each slit chili with a mixture of cumin and carom seeds. Repeat the procedure for the remaining chillies and set aside all stuffed chillies.
- Heat oil in a deep frying pan or kadai over medium heat.Oil
- In a mixing bowl, combine gram flour, carom seeds, rice flour, salt, hot oil and a pinch of baking soda to prepare the batter. Add water gradually and mix until the batter becomes smooth and thick, similar to pancake batter.1 cup Gram Flour, 3 Tablespoons Rice Flour, ¼ Teaspoon Baking Soda (Bicarbonate of Soda), ¾ cup Water, 3 Tablespoons Oil, Salt, ¼ Teaspoon Carom seeds/Ajwain
- Dip the prepared stuffed green chilies into the batter, ensuring they are fully covered.
- Carefully slide the coated chilies into the hot oil and fry them until they turn golden brown and crisp. Fry them in batches to ensure the pan doesn't get overcrowded.
- Remove the mirchi bajjis from the oil using a slotted spoon and place them on a plate lined with a paper towel to remove excess oil.
- Serve stuffed mirchi bajji hot with mint chutney, tamarind chutney, or a cup of tea.
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