Cauliflower Crispies / Bajo / Bajia / Fries ............
These cauliflower crispies were taught to me by my aunt. The method is a bit different from the usual bajia method. The mixture is coated to the cauliflower in such a way that it just gives it a thin film coating of the paste. It is then fried on medium heat till crispy.
250 - 350 gms cauliflower cut into medium sized florets
4-5 tblsp of besan (chana dal flour) – sieved.
1 tsp hing powder
2 tsp coriander powder
½ tsp fennel powder (Op)
1 tblsp vinegar (Op)
1-2 tblsp of red chilly powder
1 tblsp rice powder
1 tblsp cornflour
Salt to taste
Wash and drain the cauliflower well for some time. The water should be completely drained. The cauliflower should be a bit on drier side.
Put the cauliflower florets into a wide stainless steel bowl. Add salt to taste, besan (chana dal flour), hing powder, coriander powder, fennel seeds powder (Optional), vinegar (Optional), red chilly powder (plus or minus depending upon how spicy the powder is and also on individual liking), rice powder, cornflour and mix well.
Sprinkle some water and keep mixing all ingredients till the mixture has mixed well with the cauliflower florets and given them a nice coating.
The coating of mixture should just bind the cauliflowers and not be like the one’s done for baji, dipping method.
Heat plenty of oil in a thick bottomed kadai for deep frying. When smoking hot, lower the heat, wait for 5 minutes, then gently drop in one by one cauliflower florets into the oil carefully. Do not overcrowd the kadai.
Keep the heat on medium and gently stir the cauliflower often for even distribution of heat. Ensure a steady and correct temperature of heat through out frying of the crispies. This takes a bit of more time than while we do bajias.
Once nicely browned and crisp remove and place it on an absorbent paper for the excess oil to drain off. Serve hot as a snack or as an accompaniment with other dishes. These crispies are best served as starters and is a hit dish with youngsters and children alike.