Crispy Daal Bhajias

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Serves 6-8

These lentil fritters are deliciously crunchy and are a perfect evening snack. I like to serve these with Coconut Chutney, but they also work as a great accompaniment for my Channa Bateta recipe.

1 mug
split red cowpeas/chola (kunde)
(1 and a half cups)
1 mug
split moong daal/green gram
(1 and a half cups)
onion, roughly chopped
green chillies, chopped
small bunch of fresh coriander, chopped
(stems separated from leaves)
2 tsp.
fresh methi/fenugreek leaves
1/4 tsp.
garlic paste
2 tsp.
oil for deep frying

Rinse out then soak the two lentils together for at least 5 hours, preferably overnight.

Wash and sieve out as much of the peels as you can, they will mostly float to the top when you rub the grains. You might not be able to get out all the peels, but that's absolutely ok. Even if some remain, it's fine, that will make you bhajias/fritters even crispier. Wash and change the water several times until you're satisfied that the grains are clean and the water is clear. Remember to check for stones that will sink down to the bottom of the bowl during washing if you bought the freshly weighed-out variety.

To check for stones, fill Bowl 1 with the soaked grains and cover with water, then take a Bowl 2. Now gently with a side to side swishing motion, pour the grains with their water into the second bowl. Whenever the water starts reducing such that you can see the grains of Bowl 1, spill the water back from Bowl 2 into Bowl 1 and repeat with the swishing until all the grains have been swished into the Bowl 2. Be careful near the end, to check what is remaining in the bowl because if there are any stones, this technique will help sink them to the bottom of Bowl 1. So you can just scoop them out and chuck them. Repeat a second time just to be sure, you certainly wouldn't want some nasty stones in your yummy bhajias/fritters! 

Put the cleaned and drained lentils in a colander to drip out all the water, then add the roughly chopped onion, coriander stems (save the leaves for later), and green chillies.

Now using a food processor, grind these together to make a rough mixture. Do not add water whilst doing this unless you absolutely have to, and then also just add a tsp at a time until you can grind the mixture! 

Turn the mixture into a bowl and add the garlic paste and salt. Mix thoroughly, then just before frying add the chopped coriander leaves and some chopped methi (fenugreek). 

Heat oil in a deep pan and then pick small balls of the batter using your fingertips and gently drop them into the hot oil. Deep fry on medium heat until golden brown and crispy. Drain well on tissue and serve hot.


Asalamu aleikum? I have a question about bahjia!! Can you please tell me green I use for bahjia? Can u please take the picture n send it to me cuz am confused which one to used!!!

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

W/Salaam, am not sure I understood your question. Please explain what 'green' exactly you were confused about.

I was confused about green gram!!! I don't know which one to use!! So please can u take the picture n send it to me, so I will know which one to used!!!

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

I have sent you the pics on FB.

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

W/Salaam, you can blend using a regular blender just try and avoid using water if possible. At the most you can add a few tbsp of water to help grind the mixture, it will take time and patience but will give best results. Do not make the mixture COMPLETELY smooth, it can remain grainy, that is fine...makes them crispy.

I have always used black eye peas. Never tried the bore. Any difference

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

Not much difference, black eyed peas are almost the same as cowpeas.

Is there another name for red cowpeas? I tried looking for them in the States at Indian stores but could not find that name. Thanks!


What can be used as an alternative to methi/fenugreek if i don't have this? Also do you not add any other kind of apices to the mixture

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

W/Salaam, you can omit the methi if you do not have it. And no I do not add any other spices to this recipe.