Servings : Serves 3-4
Maru Bhajias (also known as Nylon Bhajias) are an extremely popular snack in East Africa, especially in Kenya. Essentially it is thin potato slices dipped in a spiced and herbed flour coating which are then deep fried until crisp and golden. They are then served with a flavourful chutney, dip or sauce.
- 3-4 potatoes, peeled and sliced very thinly
- 1 cup gram flour/besan
- 2 tbsp cornflour or rice flour (optional for added crispness)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp red chili powder
- 4 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped
- 2-3 green chilies, finely chopped
- 1/4 tsp garlic paste
- 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
- 1/4 tsp cumin powder (optional)
- pinch of baking soda or ENO salt
- oil for deep frying
Rinse and drain the potato slices. Then put them back in a bowl of water and sprinkle 1 tsp. salt. Let them sit for about 15 minutes in the salty water.
In the meantime, separately, mix all the rest of the ingredients together WITHOUT ADDING ANY WATER. We’re not forming a batter. The trick with getting perfect maru bhajias is to not add water to these ingredients.
Drain the potato slices from the salty water and rinse then once more, then let them drain.
Now, start layering the slices with the dry ingredients. Take a wide plate, sprinkle some of the dry ingredients mixture on it, then place some slices on it, sprinkle some of the dry mixture over the slices again. Repeat with the slices and the mixture, and keep going until all the slices and the mixture are layered. Let this sit for about half an hour. The potatoes will slowly release their own water, so you do not need to add any water to this recipe.
When ready to fry, add a pinch of baking soda or Eno salt on the potatoes then mix them up properly with your hands. The salt and washed potatoes will help release enough moisture to coat the slices with a thin batter.
Heat some oil and deep fry these slices on medium to low heat to ensure the potatoes are properly cooked and crispy.
Serve with chutney or ketchup. Enjoy!