Banana Bajji | Vazhakkai Bajji

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Banana bajji are crisp and tasty fritters made with unripe bananas or plantains. They are a popular snack in South India and are also served in South Indian restaurants. Unripe green banana are also called vazhakkai, balekai, aratikaya in some regional South Indian languages.

banana bajji, raw banana bajji recipe

I have never seen them being served in North Indian restaurants. Basically banana bajji is a South Indian recipe, though it is made in Maharashtra too. In North India we usually have Palak pakoda, Aloo pakora, Onion pakoda, mix veg pakoras and so on.

I remember in my childhood days, when we used to visit chowpatty in Mumbai, there was a pakora stall where one used to get awesome pakoras. I don’t know what recipe they had.

They used to serve assorted mix vegetable pakoras made from veggies like eggplant, okra, potatoes, onions, capsicum and raw banana and green chillies. Whenever we used to visit the chowpatty, we always used to have pakoras from this place. Now this place is closed.

Once I had ordered the banana bajji in a very popular South Indian restaurant in Matunga, Mumbai. Here again the banana bajji was too good. You can easily make them at home and still get a hotel-like taste in them.

Pakoras or fritters can also be made with ripe and sweet bananas. In Kerala, there is a snack made from ripe bananas which is called as Pazham pori. The batter for pazham pori is made with maida or all purpose flour. It is basically a sweet tasting fritter and served as a tea time snack in Kerala.

Step-by-Step Guide

How to make vazhakkai bajji or banana bajji

Prep Plantain

1. Rinse and then peel 2 medium sized raw bananas. Horizontally cut each banana in two to three equal parts first. Then take each part and slice it vertically in 3 to 4 slices.

Each slice should be of approximately 4 to 4.5 inches in height and ¼ inch in thickness. In a bowl take cold water. Add the banana slices in it so that they do not get discolored.

making banana bajji recipe

Make Batter

2. In a mixing bowl, take 1 cup besan (gram flour), 2 tablespoons rice flour, ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder, ¼ teaspoon red chili powder, 1 generous pinch of asafoetida (hing) and 1 or 2 pinches of baking soda. Also add salt as per taste.

TIP 1: For a gluten free recipe, do not add asafoetida or use gluten-free asafoetida.

TIP 2: The amount of ground spices can be altered according to your taste. So you can add less or more of them.

making banana bajji recipe

3. Now add water in parts.

making banana bajji recipe

4. Begin to mix. The batter has to be thick so avoid adding all of the water at once, as the batter may become thin and runny. So it is better to keep on adding little water in parts and mixing, so that you get the right consistency.

Depending on the quality of besan you can add a total of ½ to ⅔ cup water. Mix very well to a smooth, thick and lump free batter.

making banana bajji recipe

5. Now pat dry the banana slices on a kitchen towel. Also heat oil in a deep frying pan or kadai (wok). You can use any neutral flavored oil with a high smoking point. I usually use sunflower oil or peanut oil.

making banana bajji or vazhakkai bajji recipe

6. Dip each banana slice in the prepared gram flour batter.

making banana bajji or vazhakkai bajji recipe

7. Coat the banana slice completely with the batter.

making banana bajji or vazhakkai bajji recipe

Frying vazhakkai bajji

8: Now add the batter coated banana slices in the hot oil. Begin to fry the raw banana pakoras on medium flame.

making banana bajji or vazhakkai bajji recipe

9. When one side is lightly golden, then turn over with the help of a slotted spoon and fry the second side.

banana bajji recipe, vazhakkai bajji recipe

10. Turn over a couple of times and fry until the banana bajji are crisp and golden. Once done then remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper towels to remove excess oil.

banana bajji recipe, vazhakkai bajji recipe

11. Fry the remaining bajji in batches in a similar way.

banana bajji recipe, vazhakkai bajji recipe

12. Serve raw banana bajji hot or warm with green chutney or coconut chutney or tomato ketchup or tamarind chutney. You can also serve with sweet and sour chilli sauce or mint chutney or with a sauce like sriracha sauce.

They make for a good evening snack. Serve with a side of ginger tea or masala chai or filter coffee.

banana bajji recipe, vazhakkai bajji recipe

Expert Tips

  1. The amount of spices can vary according to your taste.
  2. Fry the bajji in a medium hot oil. Keep the heat from medium to medium high. Frying them in a warm oil will make them absorb more oil and become soggy. Frying them in a very hot oil will the outside batter cook fast or get burnt and leaving the insides uncooked.
  3. Use any high smoke point neutral oil for frying. 
  4. Make the batter to a thick flowing consistency. But do not make the batter very thick or else the outer texture will become doughy. A thin batter will not coat the banana slices well and they will absorb a lot of oil.
  5. You can swap gram flour with chickpea flour.
  6. The recipe can be doubled or tripled.

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banana bajji recipe, vazhakkai bajji recipe

Banana Bajji | Balekai Bajji

This Raw banana bajji is a crisp and tasty fritters made with raw unripe bananas or plantains and spiced gram flour batter. Make these delicious fritters easily under 30 minutes for your next evening snack.
4.75 from 4 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Cuisine South Indian
Course Snacks
Diet Vegan, Vegetarian
Difficulty Level Moderate
Servings 3
Units

Ingredients

  • 2 medium raw unripe bananas or plantains or vazhakkai or balekai or aratikaya
  • 1 cup gram flour (besan)
  • 2 tablespoons rice flour (optional)
  • ¼ teaspoon red chilli powder
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 to 2 pinches baking soda
  • 1 generous pinch of asafoetida (hing)
  • salt as required
  • ½ to ⅔ cup water or add as required
  • oil for deep frying, as required

Instructions
 

Making batter

  • Rinse and then peel the bananas (vazhakkai). Chop them into two to three equal pieces, horizontally. Then take each piece and slice in 3 to 4 pieces vertically. Put the slices in water so that they do not get discoloured. 
  • Each slice should be of approximate 4 to 4.5 inches in height and ¼ inch in thickness.
  • Prepare the batter by mixing besan, rice flour, baking soda, salt, red chilli powder, asafoetida and turmeric powder.
  • Add little water in parts and mix. We need a thick batter. So avoid adding water once, as the batter may become thin. Mix to a thick batter without lumps. 

Frying banana bajji

  • Now pat dry the raw banana slices on a kitchen towel. 
  • Heat oil in a deep frying pan. Dip the banana slices in the batter and coat the banana slices completely with the batter.
  • Add the batter coated slices in the hot oil and fry the plaintain pakoras till golden brown.
  • Drain the fried plaintain pakoras on kitchen tissues to remove excess oil.
  • Serve banana bajji hot with green chutney or coconut chutney or tomato ketchup.

Notes

  • The recipe can be doubled or tripled.
  • The amount of spices can vary according to your taste.
  • You can swap gram flour with chickpea flour.
  • Fry the bajji in a medium hot oil. Keep the heat from medium to medium high. Frying them in a warm oil will make them absorb more oil and become soggy. Frying them in a very hot oil will the outside batter cook fast or get burnt and leaving the insides uncooked.
  • Use any high smoke point neutral oil for frying. 
  • Make the batter to a thick flowing consistency. But do not make the batter very thick or else the outer texture will become doughy. A thin batter will not coat the banana slices well and they will absorb a lot of oil.

Nutrition Info (Approximate values)

Nutrition Facts
Banana Bajji | Balekai Bajji
Amount Per Serving
Calories 354 Calories from Fat 90
% Daily Value*
Fat 10g15%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 850mg37%
Potassium 854mg24%
Carbohydrates 60g20%
Fiber 6g25%
Sugar 21g23%
Protein 8g16%
Vitamin A 1410IU28%
Vitamin C 21.9mg27%
Calcium 17mg2%
Iron 2.3mg13%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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This banana bajji recipe post from the blog archives (Sep 2009) has been republished and updated on 21 May 2021.

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Welcome to Dassana's Veg Recipes. I share vegetarian recipes from India & around the World. Having been cooking for decades and with a professional background in cooking & baking, I help you to make your cooking journey easier with my tried and tested recipes showcased with step by step photos & plenty of tips & suggestions.

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12 Comments

  1. A simple evening snack…just plain banana slices dipped in spiced batter and fried tasted so good.5 stars

    1. yes, it does taste so good. thanks for the review and rating winnie ????

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