Mirchi Bajji (Mirapakaya Bajji, Chilli Bajji)
Mirchi Bajji, more popularly known as Mirapakaya Bajji in Andhra Pradesh & Telangana is a popular street food snack made by batter frying green chilies. There are many versions of Mirchi Bajji enjoyed all over India. In Tamil Nadu it is known as Milagai bajji & in the rest of India they are well known as Mirchi pakora and Mirchi vada/bada. In this post I share the recipe to make Perfect Street style crispy-crunchy Mirchi Bajji with stuffing.
Ask any Telugu speaking person about their favorite street food, you are likely to hear Mirapakaya Bajji! Mirchi Bajji with its alluring aroma & perfect crispy texture, is very much the most loved street food of South India.
You will see vendors making these all-round the year on the streets, on a push cart or in a small food stall. These get sold out the moment they are out of the oil & new customers keep waiting eagerly for their turn.
About Mirchi Bajji
Mirchi Bajji is a popular South Indian street fried snack made with gram flour, spices and green chilies. Mirchi translates to chilies and Bajji to gram flour fritters. For the uninitiated, Mirchi Bajji are green chilli fritters where fresh chilies are dipped in gram flour batter and deep fried to perfection, until crispy & aromatic.
Chilli Bajji are made much the same way all over India. To make Andhra style mirapakaya bajji, green chilies are optionally deseeded and sometimes smeared inside with spices mixed with a thick tamarind paste.
Once they are batter fried, they are stuffed with a mix of chopped onions, coriander leaves, salt, lemon juice and red chili powder.
You will see every home and every push cart (bandi) man has his own style of making the stuffing. In a lot of places these are not stuffed at all but still they taste super-duper delicious. You are likely to find roasted peanuts, mixture, chaat masala and a lot more garnishings in many places.
Stuffing is what makes these Mirchi Bajji an Andhra style Mirapakaya bajji. However I have seen a lot of people like the plain crispy mirchi bajji without the stuffing. If that’s what you like, simply skip the stuffings in this recipe.
You can also stuff with spiced potatoes to make these Rajasthani Mirchi vada/ pakora.
Normally Mirchi bajji is eaten on their own with Masala Chai, or as a side in a meal. In North Karnataka region, they are served with Puffed Rice Upma called as mandakki oggarne aka borugula upma (uggani) in Andhra.
More Snacks Recipes
How to make Mirchi Bajji (Stepwise photos)
Preparation – Green Chilies
1. Rinse the green chilies under running water very well. Wipe dry with a cloth or kitchen tissues.
2. Take a butter knife and slit the chilies lengthwise (on one side), keeping intact the stem/stalk. This step is done to prevent the chilies from bursting while frying.
3. If you want the bajji to be hot you can leave the seeds in and just make a slit as shown above. We do not prefer to remove the seeds as the flavor and heat of the chilies is lost. Also you risk the batter & oil entering into the chilli and remain undercooked. So our preferred method is to just slit the chilli. (more in pro tips section below)
Optionally If you want deseed them using a knife carefully without breaking the chilli. This helps in reducing the heat/ spice from the bajji.
4. Knock the chilies in the reverse direction to get rid of all the seeds. Prepare all the chillies this way if you want and keep them aside.
Prepare the Stuffing
5. Optional Andhra Style – Mix together crushed ajwain and salt. If you want you can mix with a teaspoon of tamarind paste (not water).
6. Add the ajwain and salt (or together with tamarind). I do not do this first stuffing normally as we don’t find any difference. The final stuffing is what actually make these awesome. So you may skip this step.
7. Final onion stuffing – To make onion stuffing, chop 1 small to medium onion as required. Add them to a bowl along with a little chopped coriander leaves. Keep this aside. You will add lemon juice and a dash of salt later, only when you are ready to serve. Also set aside chilli powder, chaat masala, roasted cumin powder and salt.
Make Bajji Batter
8. To a bowl, add
- Besan (gram flour)
- corn starch or rice flour
- carom seeds
- Baking soda (Soda bi-carbonate)
If you want you may add little chilli powder and turmeric as well.
9. Mix all of them and pour ¾ cup water. Avoid adding a lot of water at one time.
10. Make a smooth and thick batter, free of lumps.
11. Pour more water and make a batter that is not too thick or too thin. If you dip a chili into the batter, it should coat well. This is the right consistency. Taste test and add more salt if you want.
12. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a kadai until hot. Pour the hot oil here. It should sizzle. This step prevents your mirchi bajji from soaking up oil while frying.
Fry Mirchi Bajji
13. Heat oil in a kadai on a medium flame/heat. When the oil is hot, drop a small portion of the prepared batter into the oil to test if it is hot enough for frying. The batter should sizzle and rise to the surface without turning brown. If it sinks it means the oil is not hot enough. So wait until hot.
14. Dip a green chili into the batter. Holding the stem, gently rotate it in the batter to coat the green chilli completely. If you have stuffed the chilies with spices, make sure the cut portion is sealed with the batter well.
15. Lift it and quickly drop it in the hot oil. We generally swipe one side of the chilli to the batter bowl before dropping to the oil. This helps you to easily cut and stuff the onion mixture later. This is just a tip if you want to do so.
16. Avoid disturbing them for a good 2 mins. Oil has to be hot enough when you drop them else they won’t puff.
17. Later turn them to the other sides. Fry on a medium heat until golden and crispy.
18. Remove them to a cooling rack or a colander. After frying all the bajjis, double fry them on a medium to low heat to retain the crunch for longer.
Stuffing Mirapakaya Bajji
Let them cool a bit and mix together the cut onions, coriander leaves, lemon juice, salt, chaat masala (optional).
Make incisions on the chilli bajji lengthwise. Stuff the onion mixture inside. You can also add some roasted peanuts or mixture if you want. If you want sprinkle some red chilli powder, roasted cumin powder and chaat masala. But none of these are done traditionally. Serve Mirchi bajji immediately.
Mirchi bajji made at home can be made with the best quality ingredients especially oil. Though this is a most common snack available we never buy from outside as the oil is reused and we really do not know what goes into making of these.
There are a few variations sold on the streets. I am sharing the recipe which we commonly make at home. Here are the tips that will be of great help if you are trying to make mirchi bajji at home for the first time.
Besan or gram flour: Good quality gram flour is the key to aromatic mirchi bajji. Do not use stale or rancid smelling besan as it tastes bitter. Most traditional homes mill the chana dal to flour and use it as the bajji tastes much better with fresh flour.
Consistency of batter is the next important thing to get crisp and perfect bajji. The consistency should be neither too thick nor too thin. It must be of medium thick consistency, yet not runny.
If the batter is runny then the bajji will turn out soft and will soak up lot of oil. A lot of batter drips as well. If the batter is too thick it won’t stay on to the chilli well. The mirchi bajji will turn hard.
Stuffing: I normally do not stuff the chilies before frying as I find no difference in the taste. It is the final stuffing that actually matters. Also tamarind alters the flavor. However it is a personal choice.
Mirchi Bajji Recipe | Mirapakaya Bajji
For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card
Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )
To Make Batter
- 12 to 14 bhajji mirchi (green chilies,plump, long, less spicy)
- 2 cups besan (180 grams gram flour)
- 4 to 6 tablespoons corn flour ( or ¼ cup rice flour)
- ¾ to 1 teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
- 1 to 1¼ teaspoon crushed ajwain (carom seeds / vaamu)
- ½ teaspoon red chili powder (optional)
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric or haldi
- ¼ teaspoon soda-bi-carbonate (baking soda/cooking soda)
- 2 tablespoons oil (to add in the batter)
- Oil for deep frying
- ¾ cup water (plus 2 to 3 tablespoons as needed)
For Stuffing Green Chilies (optional)
- 1 teaspoon crushed ajwain (carom seeds for stuffing, optional)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon tamarind paste (optional)
For Stuffing Mirchi Bajji
- 1 medium onion finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons coriander leaves fine chopped
- 1 small lemon (use as required, about 1 tablespoon)
- 1 salt to taste (adjust to taste)
- ¼ to ½ teaspoon red chili powder or as needed (optional)
- ¼ to ½ teaspoon Chaat Masala or as needed (optional)
- Rinse the green chilies under running water and wipe dry with a clean cloth or kitchen tissues.
- Take a butter knife and slit the chilies lengthwise (on one side), keeping intact the stem/stalk. Deseed them using a knife.
- Optional – Mix together crushed ajwain, salt and tamarind paste (optional). Stuff your chilies with this. You can put in as much as you want. Usually 2 to 3 pinches is enough.
- On a medium flame, heat oil in a deep pan for frying.
- Mix together flour, salt, soda, turmeric, red chili powder & ajwain thoroughly in a bowl.
- Pour ½ cup water. Begin to mix to make a thick lump free batter, adding more water as required. Avoid pouring all the water at one time.
- Once you have a lump-free thick batter, pour more water little by little to get the right consistency, not thin and not too thick. The batter should just coat the chili when it is dunked in the batter. Too thin batter will begin to drip off from the chilies .Too thick will not cling on to the chilies.
- Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a separate small pot until really hot (not smoking hot). Pour that to the batter. It should sizzle. Mix with the whisk or spoon.
- Once you finish mixing, just whisk 4 to 5 times with a whisk on a medium speed to aerate the batter.
Make Mirchi Bajji
- Check if the oil is hot enough by dropping a small portion of the batter to the hot oil. If it is ready, the batter will sizzle & rise immediately without browning. Reduce the flame to medium.
- Hold a green chili with the stem/stalk, dip it in the batter and gently rotate it to coat the batter all over. (optionally you may gently swipe off one side of the chilli to the batter bowl before sliding to the oil. This helps to cut the chilies easily later for stuffing).
- Gently slide it in hot oil & fry on a medium heat. You can fry 3 to 4 in each batch depending on the size of your kadai. Do not disturb them for 2 mins. When they puff and firm up, stir them to cook evenly.
- Turn them to the other sides and fry until crisp and golden. Remove to a cooling rack or a steel colander.
- Once done frying all of the mirchi bajji, refry them in batches on a medium heat. Ensure the oil is medium hot. This step makes them extra crisp and they remain crisp for quite long.
Stuff the Mirapakaya Bajji
- Let them cool down a little. Meanwhile mix the onions, coriander leaves, lemon juice and salt in a bowl.
- Take a small spoon or knife and open up the slit gently. Stuff all of them as desired with the onion & chilies. Sprinkle red chilli powder and chaat masala if you want.
- Serve Mirchi bajji immediately with a cup of tea or as a side with your dinner.
Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.
For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips above the recipe card.
NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)
© Swasthi’s Recipes
I’m Swasthi Shreekanth, the recipe developer, food photographer & food writer behind Swasthi’s Recipes. My aim is to help you cook great Indian food with my time-tested recipes. After 2 decades of experience in practical Indian cooking I started this blog to help people cook better & more often at home. Whether you are a novice or an experienced cook I am sure Swasthi’s Recipes will assist you to enhance your cooking skills.
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Love these! Going to try them for the first time but not sure what kind of chillies to use. Would jalapeños work? Thank you
Hi can we add oil to batter before adding the water because here in Andhra the bajjis outer layer will be like a crumble texture after frying them it tastes even more better so can I add oil in dry flour ??
Yes you can add 1 tablespoon sizzling/hot oil to the flour. Mix with spoon and then make the batter. Hope this helps.
Another favorite snack from my time in India as always your recipe is simple. The tricky part, is finding the chilies. I live in Thailand now, we have chilies, but not the selection I remember from India. I’ll bring seeds to my local plant nursery.
I know how to make golgappa, pani, chutney’s and sev. My favorite is dahi puri. But I’d love to see your take on pani puri, street snack, that always attracts a huge crowd of housewives, they become like happy children, pani puri, must have recipe.
A note on food across boarders. It’s like learning a language, it’s easier when you are young. Mom/dad’s cooking will always have a place in your heart, even if it was TV dinners. Food is a shortcut, into culture, Different food can develop the brain, and make kids smarter
Yes I agree with you on different foods. Thank you! Will surely post pani puri recipe
I tried mirchi bajji.All went well except that the outer besan covering became very hard and too crispy to the extent that when i started stuffing them after being cooked, the outer besan covering was kind of getting seperated.. I had fried them twice as you suggested. Not sure what went wrong….
If the batter is too thick they will become hard. I guess the batter needed bit more water.
I hope you did not skip soda.
Double frying won’t make them hard. I do it always.
The other reason can be frying them on a very low heat.
Also too much rice flour can make them hard. Hope this helps.
I tried your mirchi bajji yesterday. They came out good but the flavor of green chili was very overpowering. The taste of the covering was good but not the chili. Mine were not so big like yours. Later my husband said the chili bajji is made with a different type of chilies. Help me to choose the correct type of chilies. Thank you
Yes the chillies used to make chilli bajji are different. They are not the regular green chilies. Hence I have mentioned in the recipe card as “bajji mirchi”. These are fat, long to medium and have a thick skin. They are less spicy so most people use chilies in the stuffing for extra heat. The aroma of these chilies is different and not like the regular green chilies. I will try to post the picture of the chilies. Hope this helps.
Hi bajji came out looking good but chilli wasn’t cooked properly it was raw. But besan layer was crispy .what should i do?
I think they need to be cooked for a little longer on a medium flame. Just refry them now on a medium flame. I guess the flame was a bit too high or the oil not enough hot so it didn’t cook inside. Next time when you make fry them on a medium flame.
Hi, Swathi I tried your Mirchi bajji it came out well…. Super. Thanks for your recpies.
Thanks for trying
Thank you very much for your recipy
I really like all your recipes and Thank you for your reply!
You are Awesome!!
Welcome and thanks Ana. Happy to know you like the recipes.
can we add INO fruit salt instead of baking soda!
I have not tried with eno anytime. You can still make them without soda. Just beat the batter well a couple of times.
Thank you and you are really Awsome!!!!
Welcome and thanks Ana
Hi Swasthi dont we need to marinate the chillis first with tamrind water?
No this recipe doesn’t need marination. After they are fried just squeeze lemon juice over the onion stuffing.
thanks a lot now going to try this recipe for my guests
Have made mirchi bajji at home before, but read about stuffing it with the onion mixture for the first time here. I just topped the bajjis with onion, coriander leaves, lemon juice and salt mix for my son as I didn’t want the spiciness of the chillies mentioned, he loved it! Thanks for this idea!
We can also stuff the potato masala in these mirchi bajji. So glad to know you liked it. Thanks for the feedback
It was so superb
Tried it, so crunchy
tempting crispy chilly bajjis.I am hungry looking at them.
so Tempting…Mouthwatering here….my fav 🙂