Bhajia

Tonight, we went out to dinner, to one of my three favorite restaurants in our area: Alando, a Kenyan place with amazing food at very reasonable prices. My daughter and I split a cardamom chicken entree (complete with lovely soft rice and shredded cabbage), and of course we also ordered a plate of bhajia. Bhajia is an amazing side dish that is essentially fried potatoes, but is so much more. The potatoes are dipped in a perfectly seasoned batter of chickpea flour (or something similar), and then fried in canola (or another vegetable) oil. I’ve tried to make them in the past, but that was before the deep fryer entered our kitchen (thanks, Mom and Dad!). I think I might try again, because I can’t go out to eat every time I get a craving for bhajia, but I am not quite sure of the seasonings. Anyone with Kenyan (or Indian — I think the two cuisines have a lot of similarities, and for all I know, bhajia originated in India) heritage, please feel free to post a comment with seasoning suggestions. I know there’s turmeric (because bhajia has a yellow tinge, but doesn’t taste like saffron), onion (because you can taste it), cumin (again, you can taste it), and salt. There may be a bit of something spicy, but it’s subtle enough that my anti-spicy daughter doesn’t notice / doesn’t care.

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