Crispy Potato Bhajia often referred to as Maru’s Bhajia

What are bhajias (often called bhajis and pakoras )?   Bhajias are generally vegetables sliced and  dipped in a spiced  chickpea batter and fried until crispy.  Sometimes,vegetables are grated or chopped and added to the spiced chickpea batter and little spoonfuls are dropped into hot oil to fry until crispy.  For these ones we stuffed them with garlic and spices before frying them.

Bhajias in any form or shape are a great favorite in this country.  You just have to walk down any street food markets and will see that it has the biggest queue of people waiting to be served.

I never need an excuse for making bhajias or pakoras as all my family love them.  However, when it’s dull,rainy or cold – pakoras are a great comfort food with hot and tangy chutney and masala chai.

These crispy sliced bhajias (often called pakoras or fritters) are also called Maru na Bhajia (meaning Maru’s bhajia). Maru is the name of a restaurant in Nairobi, Kenya where they make these crispy potato bhajias and East African’s all over the World still talk about them. They do have a branch in Wembley where they serve these bhajias. My recipe makes bhajias similar to Maru’s Bhajia.


Ingredients for 4 servings:


1. Peel and slice the potatoes. My potato grater has 2 sizes and I chose the thicker slices.

2. Wash and soak the potato slices in salted water for 15 minutes.

3. Mix the salt, pepper, (chilly powder) ajwain and turmeric with the chick pea flour and the rice/corn flour.

4. Sprinkle this mixture thinly on a tray.

5. Sprinkle some coriander, chillies and ginger mixture thinly on the chick pea flour.

6. Drain the potatoes and layer them on top of the chickpea flour and spices.

6. Drain the potatoes and layer them on top of the chickpea flour and spices.

7. Sprinkle the chick pea flour mixture on top of the potato slices topped by the coriander, chilly and ginger.

8. Repeat this until all the potatoes have been used up.

9. Keep this mixture to marinate for 30 minutes.

10. Add the bicarbonate of soda to the mixture now and using your hands, mix the potatoes well until they all get thinly covered with the flour and spices mixture. Do not add any water to this mixture.  The salt and washed potatoes will create some moisture to enable you to cover all the potatoes with the spicy chickpea flour.


11. Heat some oil in a wok and fry these potatoes. At first, keep the heat high for the oil. To check the oil has reached the right temperature drop one of the potato mixture in the oil. If it rises quickly to the top, your oil is ready. Now lower the heat and fry some of the bhajias at medium heat in small batches to allow them to cook well and crispy. You may need to adjust the heat occasionally to ensure the bhajias cook well and crispy.

12. Enjoy Crispy Potato Bhajia  or Maru’s Bhajia with any chutney or dip.

Other pakora recipes you may like from my blog are:

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