Anybody who knows me, knows that I hate deep frying stuff…not because it is unhealthy and that makes me stay away from it but…I can ever stop at making just one thing…and hence try and avoid it as much as possible…so when I was coaxed into making bread rolls, I of course immediately started rummaging through the kitchen and refrigerator to see what else I could make…and one of things that I found was fat mirchis ( green chilies/peppers)…onto to the freezer and I saw a few fish pieces…yum…I first had Fish stuffed Mirchi Pakodas (Green Chili Fritters) in Colombo in a famous shack about 10 years back and was hooked…of course back then, I never thought I would be cooking myself, so never bothered to check how those guys actually made it…came up with my own version when I did start cooking and quite like it.
Mirchi Pakoras/ Green Chili Fritters
- Fat thick green chilies/peppers
- Oil for deep frying
For the batter:
- Gram flour /Besan
- Red chili powder
- Coriander powder
- A pinch of turmeric -no more
- About a tablespoon of oil
For the stuffing:
- Boiled fish ( I had 3-4 small pieces of Rohu this time so used that, otherwise I normally use Bhetki or Sole – no drama of ‘fishing’ out the bones and flakes better)
- Sliced onions
- Chopped garlic
- Red chili powder
Everything to taste and per quantity required based on how fat the chilies are.
For the stuffing:
Fry the onions and garlic to golden brown. Let it cool before mixing in with the rest of the filling ingredients. Keep aside.
To prepare the chilies for the batter:
Wash and pat dry the chilies.
With the knife make one slit along the length of the chili – from under the stem to above the end of the chili.
Pls. make sure that you don’t slit all the way to the end or cut through the other side.
Remove the seeds and membrane.
Gently pry open the slit of the chili and fill it up with the stuffing, one teaspoon full at a time till the entire chili is done – spread the filling evenly throughout the chili.
Push the chili closed and keep aside.
Try with one chili first – if it breaks while stuffing, keep the chilies in hot water for some time to soften up and then it will be easier to stuff them without breaking.
Prepare the batter:
In a bowl mix gram flour with the spice powders and oil.
Add a little water at a time in the flour and whisk really well for 5-10 minutes.
Batter needs to be of thick consistency to coat the chilies.
And on to frying…
Pick up the chili by the stem and dip into the batter to coat completely.
Pick up the chili by its stem again and let the excess batter to drip back into the bowl.
If you want a thick coating of the batter, drizzle an additional teaspoon of batter over the chili and slip it gently into the hot oil.
Fry on medium heat one at a time or if placing a few together, pls. ensure you don’t overcrowd – make sure the chilies don’t touch or stick to each other.
Fry till golden brown and serve hot with coriander chutney /tamarind chutney/ ketchup.
- To test if the oil is at correct temperature to fry the pakoras – drop a little batter into the oil. If it sinks to the bottom: oil is too cold and pakoras will turn out greasy. If it gets brown too quickly: oil is too hot, pakoras will get brown too quickly and not get cooked from inside. If it rises to the surface and sizzles: perfect! ( do this at the start and a couple of times during frying batches)
- Options for batter – mix a cpl of tablespoons of rice flour along with besan.
- Options for filling – anything that you want to, I normally make these with mashed potatoes with a little lemon juice added in OR Paneer/Indian Cottage cheese OR mince meat.