Lentil Bhajia or Vati Dal na Bhajia are a kind of fritters made from ground lentils and spices. These Lentil Bhajia or Vati Dal na Bhajia are a popular street food in India where these are deep fried and served hot on the roadside with a sweet and sour type of tangy chutney made from tamarind. In the past, I have made vati dall na bhajia where I have kept the dall very coarse by grinding it in a food processor rather than a blender. This time I blended the mixture very fine and didn’t add onions which gave the bhajias an exceptionally smooth taste.
Ingredients to make about 20-25 bhajias :
- 2 cups of Chickpea Dall (Chana dall)
- 1/2 cup of dry potato mash powder
- 3-4 green chillies blended finely (as per taste)
- small piece of ginger (I used one teaspoon of blended ginger)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder
- 2 pinches of soda bicarbonate
- 1 teaspoon ajwain ((also known as carom seeds)
- 2 teaspoons of whole coriander
- 1 tablespoon of sesame seeds
- small bunch of fresh coriander
- Oil for frying (I used sunflower oil)
1. Clean, wash and soak the chana dall in plenty of cold water overnight.
2. On the next day – drain the dall in a colander and wash it again in lots of cold water.
3. Grind the dall to a coarse mixture in a blender by adding a teaspoon of salt and ¼ cup water.
4. Transfer the blended mixture to a mixing bowl and add the finely blended green chillies and ginger to the mixture. Add the turmeric, ajwain, whole coriander, sesame seeds, chopped fresh coriander to the mixture.
5. Mix all the ingredients and if at this stage you find that the mixture is a bit runny, you can add the potato mash/powder to bind the mixture. The potato mash also helps to soak up the moisture.
6. Heat the oil in a wok. To test the right temperature of the oil, drop half a teaspoon of the mixture in the oil. If it cooks and rises quickly to the top, your oil is ready to fry the bhajias.
7. Once the oil is hot, take small amounts on a tablespoon and using a second tablespoon drop the mixture gently into the oil and deep fry them until they are golden brown . Lower the heat slightly and keep cooking the bhajias, turning them often during the frying so that they cook well and you don’t get an uncooked centre. The Lentil Bhajia (Vati Dal na Bhajia) will expand slightly.
8. Drain the Lentil Bhajias on a kitchen paper and serve with chutney and a hot cup of masala chai.