Swahili Food Recipe: Making Bhajias the Tanzania Way
Table of Contents
Bhajias are an Eastern African snack popular in Tanzania and Kenya; they are dipped in a dense gram powder paste of herbs and spices and fried till crispy. They are a cultural importation from India and come in various types such as the onion bhajias or marita’s bhajias.
Preparation time: Twenty minutes
Cooking time: Twenty minutes
Total time: Forty minutes
Quick, simple, and completely addictive Bhajias recipe!!! These crispy potatoes (Bhajias) are beyond description – combine them with chutney, and you’ll be screaming for joy.
So you just want to prepare some fries that aren’t boring, nice for your sense of taste, and a little bit healthy? Clearly, Bhajias are not really naturally nutritious, but the seasonings give these “pump up potatoes” some nutritional benefit.
These crispy-fried potatoes were requested by one of my readers. After briefly peeking at the ingredient list, I exclaimed, “No way!” How am I supposed to create a recipe when the majority of the items aren’t on my pleasant list? Yeah, of course, I do possess a good and naughty list. No, I’m not serious. I simply wasn’t motivated to create a recipe for Bhajias.
Then, while shopping at the Indian market in my neighbourhood, I met a lovely lady from Kenya. Like 90 per cent of my conversations, our discussion naturally turned to food.
We talked about our preferred after-school treats in Africa for approximately 30 minutes; hers just happened to be Bhajias. Before we separated, she insisted I try it, which I did. And I tell you what? It’s easy to observe why it’s such a popular side dish or snack in Kenya.
Crispy, spicy, and savoury, these Bhajias are always to die for. These aren’t your typical boring cookies. Uninteresting potato fries. NOOO. It’s up to you to ensure it happens.
Except for the gram flour and seeds, which you can get at any Indian local supermarket or tweak to suit your sense of taste, the spices are very common.
- two big potatoes, thinly sliced (I used russet)
- ½ cup of gram flour
- 1 tsp ginger, minced
- 1 tsp flour (rice or corn)
- 1-2 tsp coriander, carom or cumin seeds spice
- ½- 1 tsp of pepper sriracha [hot]
- ¼ cup of or more freshly picked herbs, coriander, cilantro or parsley
- 1/3 cup of water + more
- 1/2 tsp salt (or more, depending on personal preference)
- Mix gram flour, ginger spice, rice flour, hot pepper, herbs and salt in a large mixing basin.
- Slowly drizzle in enough water to make a thick mixture that covers the back part of a spoon.
- Place the potatoes in the very large bowl, one small amount at a time, and coat each slice thoroughly.
- Set aside for five to ten minutes to allow the flavour to soak in.
- Heat oil in a big saucepan or cast iron pan over moderate heat until it reaches 1\2 inches.
- Prepare the Bhajias in groups, flipping once, for three to four mins, or till it turns gold-like Overcrowding the pan will make the Bhajias mushy and absorb the extra oil.
- Continue until all of the potatoes have been fried. When the batter thins out, put more flour as required. Spices can be added to the Bhajias to taste.
- Move the Bhajias to a plate covered with napkins using a large spoon.
- Serve with ketchup, kachumbari, or chutney while still warm.
Statistics on Nutrition:
Calories: 131 kilocalories (7 per cent ) | 24 grams of Carbohydrates (8 per cent ) | 6 grams of protein (12 per cent ) | 1 gram of fat (2 per cent ) | 314 milligrams of Sodium (14 per cent ) | 587 milligrams of potassium (17 per cent ) | 4 gram of fibre (17 per cent ) | 1 gram of sugar (1 per cent ) | 335 IU of Vitamin A (7 per cent ) | 19.8 milligrams of vitamin C (24 per cent ) | Calcium: 47 milligrams (5 per cent ) | 4.5 milligrams iron (25 per cent
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