This is a very tasty, crunchy yet soft, saltish snack widely made popular by Udipi
restaurants. Unripe banana (BaaLe’ Kaayi) is widely available the world over, and this
simple, quick, dish can be prepared in minutes.
4-5 BaaLe’ Kaayi (unripe, green bananas – firm and green)
kadale’ hittu (besan flour, chickpea flour)
hasi kharada pudi (red chili powder)
1/4 litre of cooking oil (groundnut oil or sunflower oil depends on individual preference)
a small marble sized tamarind
salt to taste.
Take a bowl of water and soak the tamrind. Lightly squeeze the
tamarind to make a weak solution of tamarind water. Take the green bananas, lightly peel
the skin (optional, since many prefer to retain the skin which is very high in fibre content),
cut the end tips. Make thin slices (about the thickness of a coin) lengthwise. Put the
rectangular cut pieces in the tamarind solution (this solution prevents pieces from turning
Take 150 gms of kadale’ hittu (besan flour, chickpea flour) and 50 gms of rice flour (besan
gives the colour while rice flour gives the crispness). Add 1/2 teaspoon of red chili
powder. Add a few drops of oil (to give a crunchy outer crust), add salt to taste and mix it
with hand, adding water slowly. Stop adding water when it becomes a thick paste that
drops as you take hand out of the bowl, but does not run-off the hand. Some people prefer
to add paprika powder to get some “extra-hot” colour but this is purely optional.
Take oil in a BaNale’ (kadaayi, wok), heat it on medium-low fire. After the oil is hot but
not fuming (can also be tested by putting a drop of the mixed flour and seeing that it comes
up to surface bubbling, within 1-2 seconds). Take the cut banana pieces from the tamarind
solution, dip it in the pasty dough to cover it fully and then slide them into the BaNale’. At
this stage the dough’s consistency can be checked. If it is too thick, the pieces dont get
covered well and if too thin, dough runs off leaving the pieces exposed. At least 4 or 5 of
them can be put in one round. Allow them to fry, turn around, till they are deep brown in
colour. Take them out, serve them with coconut chutney. The unique taste of BaaLe` kaayi
(raw plantain/banana) has a sweetish hint. It is an excellent vegetarian equivalent to the
fish fingers, both in consistency and taste. It is very popular in the rainy season.
Useful hints: The same procedure can be used to make bajji from a variety of other
vegetables. Some of the popular vegetables for bajji are – onion (cut in circular pieces),
potato (again cut circularly), DoNNa MeNasina Kaayi (green pepper), Heere’ Kaayi
(ripple gourd available in Indian/Chinese stores), large green chilies (MeNasina kaayi
bajji) which are very popular in rural areas, several American gourds. Even greens can be
used to make bajji, the most popular being sappaseege’ soppu (Dil – available in most
supermarkets), and menthyada soppu (Methi leaves). The greens must be washed, dried,
cut and directly mixed with the dough. One teaspoon of greem mixed dough can be slid into
oil to make a bajji. Bajjis make an excellent snack with afternoon/evening tea or coffee.
ENJOY THIS NICE ONE FROM COASTAL KARNATAKA – OTHER BAJJIS ARE
POPULAR IN VARIOUS OTHER REGIONS, BUT THEY ALL TASTE GREAT.