Bhujia (Potato Fritters)
1 cup Besan flour (chickpea flour)
1 teaspoon cumin
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons mustards seeds
1 tablespoon whole cumin seeds
2 tablespoons clarified butter (ghee)
2 tablespoons crushed, dried neem leaves
1 onion, peeled and diced
2 teaspoons garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 bunch cilantro leaves, washed and chopped roughly
1 serrano chile, seeded, stemmed and extra finely diced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 pounds peeled potatoes
6 cups vegetable oil for frying
Prepare batter: Combine dry ingredients in a bowl, add the water and mix until texture is smooth and creamy. Set aside.
Prepare Potato Rounds: Roast mustard seeds in dry pan until they become grayish, aromatic and begin to pop. (This will happen quickly.) Lower heat, add whole cumin seeds and roast until brown, being careful not to burn, about 2 minutes. Add clarified butter and crushed neem leaves, and brown lightly. Add onions, and brown, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add garlic, and turmeric, remove from heat and add cilantro, serranos, salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, cook potatoes in salted water until soft. Drain and cool. Grate potatoes and mix gently with onions and spices. Adjust seasoning.
To form bhujias, press tightly into half dollar rounds.
Heat oil in a large saucepan to deepfry temperature (350 degree F). Dip formed potato rounds into batter and drop into hot oil. Fry until golden brown on all sides, about 2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Serve immediately with Mint and Cilantro Chutney, Yogurt Sauce, or plain yogurt for dipping. Bhujias can be made early in the day and reheated.
Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes