6 long, large green chillies or long peppers (must have thick skins)
½lb flat gathias (cooked Gujarati snacks made of gram flour). These are soft, unlike the noodle-shaped, crispier gathias described earlier. Both can be found in vegetarian snack houses or Indian grocery stores.
1tsp crushed garlic
¾tspsugar or alittlejaggery
Alittlesalt, not too much as the gathias are salted already
1tbspfresh lime juice
Apinch of bicarbonate of soda
Sunflower oil to deep-fry bhajias
Salt, chilli and alittlelemon juice
Half slit open the chillies with the top still holding on firmly.
Gently scrape out the seeds, as many as you can.
Pound together or process the stuffing ingredients until they bind and feel like soft marzipan.
Stuff the mixture into the open chillies and press them back together.
In a small bowl, mix the gram flour with the seasonings and bicarbonate of soda, then slowly add in water until you have a batter thick enough to completely coat the chillies. The texture should be like heavy wall paint.
Heat the oil until a small bit of bread dropped in rises fast to the top.
Dip and coat the chillies and carefully place them in the oil. I tend to do this with a tablespoon, but my mum used her hand. The oil may spit. Step back and let it; it will soon settle. Don’t panic. Small oil burns are badges of honour.
Wait a couple of minutes and turn the chillies over. Keep frying and turning until the bhajias look firm and slightly brown.
Check one to see the batter is cooked through completely.