Mirch Pakoda or Mirchi Bhajiya are deep-fried fritters made with a bigger sized variety of green chillies, gram flour, herbs and spices. They can be made stuffed or plain. I share an easy version to make this piquant and delicious snack. It can also be served as a side dish with any Indian meal like lentils, curries or any dry vegetable dish.
The recipe is quick, simple and easy to make as I have made it plain and not stuffed the green chillies with potatoes or paneer or any other stuffing. But you can stuff them with a stuffing of your choice. Two more popular stuffed variations which are also a street food are:
- Mirchi Vada – These are spicy crispy stuffed chili cutlet from the Rajasthani cuisine having a stuffing of savory spiced mashed potatoes.
- Andhra Mirchi Bajji – A speciality from the Andhra cuisine are these spicy mirapakaya bajji where the chillies are stuffed twice with spices first and later with a tangy mixture of aromatics.
In Mumbai, when you purchase an assorted platter of vegetable pakora, you will also get mirchi pakora in it. Most sweet shops sell mix veggie pakora in Mumbai. Apart from these, you also get other pakora varieties in Mumbai like:
While writing this post, I remember having mirchi pakoda in Goa. We liked it so much, that we used to visit this place every alternate day or so, just to have the Mirchi Bhajiya.
They served the bhajiya with pav (bread rolls) and with coconut chutney as an accompaniment. In Maharashtra and Goa, pakoras are known as Bhajji or bhajiya.
In this recipe, the green chillies that are used are the larger variety of chillies and they are not spicy as their smaller counterparts. One can use small green chillies also, but they would turn out to be too hot and spicy.
These green chillies have a light green color and are known as bhaji or bhajji or bhajiya chillies. You can also use Indian variety of Bhavnagri chilies or Picador chili. If you are craving something more spicy then you can use Jalapeño chili peppers.
To make it more yummy and filling, you can opt to stuff the chilies with grated paneer or any mashed vegetable filling.
How to make Mirchi Bhajiya or Mirch Pakoda
1. Take 1 cup gram flour (besan) in a bowl.
2. Add ½ teaspoon carom seeds (ajwain)
3. Add ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder, ¼ teaspoon red chilli powder, ¼ teaspoon garam masala powder and a pinch of asafoetida (hing). You can also a pinch of baking soda (optional). The addition of baking soda will make the texture fluffy.
5. Add salt as required.
6. Pour water in parts.
7. Mix to a thick batter. The batter should be thick but flowing. So thus add water bit by bit when making the batter. Whisk continuously for 2 to 3 minutes to aerate the batter. This helps in making soft fluffy pakoda. Set the batter aside.
Making Mirchi Bhajiya
8. Rinse the green chilies first and wipe them dry with a kitchen towel. Then take each chili and slit it on one side.
Keep the stem and don’t chop it. It is easier to hold the chilies with a stem while batter coating and also when placing the batter-coated chilies in the oil for frying.
9. Now remove the seeds and pith with a small spoon.
10. Dip the green chili in batter. Before you begin coating the chilies in the batter heat oil for deep frying in a kadai or pan. The oil should be medium hot when you add the batter coated green chilies to it.
11. Coat it very well and also apply some batter inside the green chili.
Frying mirchi pakoda
12. Carefully place the batter coated green chili in medium hot oil. You can use any neutral flavored oil with high smoking point. You can also use mustard oil.
13. Add green chilies depending on the size of the pan or kadai. When one side is lightly crisp, firms up and the batter looks cooked, then turn gently over with a slotted spoon and fry the other side.
14. Turn over a couple of times more and fry till they are golden and crisp.
15. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on kitchen paper towels to absorb extra oil. Same way fry the remaining mirchi pakora in batches.
16. Sprinkle some chaat masala powder while serving them.
17. Serve Mirch Pakora hot or warm with pav (dinner rolls), bread or serve as a side dish. You can also eat it with roti.
It also pairs well with coconut chutney or tamarind chutney or tomato ketchup. You can also serve Mumbai cutting chai with it.
Few more pakora recipes for you!
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Mirchi Pakoda | Mirchi Bhajiya
- 6 to 7 medium to large green chillies – Bhavnagri chilies or picador chillies
- oil for deep frying, as required
- 1 cup gram flour (besan)
- ½ teaspoon carom seeds (ajwain)
- ¼ tsp red chilli powder or cayenne pepper
- ¼ tsp turmeric powder (ground turmeric)
- ¼ tsp Garam Masala Powder
- 1 pinch asafoetida (hing)
- 1 pinch baking soda (optional)
- salt as required
- water as required, to make a thick flowing batter
- Prep the green chilies by rinsing them well in water a few times. Wipe them dry with a clean kitchen towel and set aside.
- In a mixing bowl take all the dry ingredients – gram flour, carom seeds, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, garam masala powder, asafoetida (hing), baking soda (optional) and salt as required.
- Add water in parts so as to form a thick flowing batter. Whisk for a couple of minutes to aerate the batter.
- Now slit the green chili from one side. Keep the stem intact. Take care not to break the chilies. With a small spoon remove the seeds and the pith.
- Dip the chili in the batter. Evenly coat the mirch (chillies) with batter and also apply some batter inside the green chili.
- Before batter coating the chilies heat any neutral flavored oil with a high smoking point in a kadai (wok) or a pan.
- Let the oil become medium hot. Then add the batter coated chilies in the medium hot oil.
- When one side is light golden and the batter has firmed up, gently turn it over with a slotted spoon. Continue to fry the second side.
- This way turn over as needed few times and deep fry them in oil till they turn golden and crisp.
- Once done remove with a slotted spoon and place them on kitchen paper towels to abosrb extra oil.
- While serving sprinkle some chaat masala on them.
- Serve mirchi pakoda hot or wam with pav (dinner rolls), bread or serve as a side dish with any Indian meal. They also taste good with a dipping sauce like tamarind chutney or coconut chutney or tomato ketchup.
- You can also eat them with a side of roti.
- Use the bigger variety of green chilies which are not spicy or hot to make this recipe.
- If you use the regular variety of small to medium sized green chilies then the pakoda will become very spicy.
- Instead of gram flour, you can use chickpea flour.
- In the batter, you can 1 to 2 tablespoons of rice flour to make it more crispy.
- For a more flavorful pakoda you can stuff the chilies with a stuffing of your choice.
- For gluten-free version skip adding asafoetida or source gluten-free asafoetida.
- The recipe can be scaled.
- Note that the approximate nutrition info is for one mirchi pakoda.
Nutrition Info (Approximate values)
This Mirchi Pakoda recipe post from the blog archives (first published in February 2010) has been updated and republished on 28 June 2021.