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Mirchi Vada (Indian Style Jalapeno Poppers)

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Level: Easy

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Description

Mirchi (think jalapeno peppers) are filled with an appetizing potato mixture (instead of cream cheese), dipped in batter and deep-fried. The flavors are different but concept is the same.

Ingredients

  • 12 whole Large Jalapenos
  • 1 Tablespoon Oil, Plus More For Deep Frying
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin Seeds
  • 1 whole Green Chili, Finely Chopped (optional)
  • ¼ teaspoons Turmeric Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Coriander Powder
  • ¼ teaspoons Red Chili Powder
  • 2 whole Potatoes, Boiled And Coarsely Mashed
  • Salt To Taste
  • ½ teaspoons Amchur (Dried Mango Powder) Or Lime Juice
  • ¼ teaspoons Garam Masala
  • Chaat Masala, For Sprinkling (optional)
  • FOR THE BATTER:
  • 1 cup Chickpea Flour (besan)
  • ¼ teaspoons Caraway (Carom Or Ajwain) Seeds
  • 1 pinch Salt
  • ¼ teaspoons Turmeric Powder
  • 1 pinch Baking Soda
  • ½ cups Water, Or More As Needed

Preparation

Rinse jalapeños and pat dry with a clean kitchen towel. With a paring knife, make a slit in each pepper, lengthwise, making sure not to cut all the way. Carefully remove seeds and veins from inside the pepper. Repeat until all jalapeños are slit and their innards removed.

Set a heavy-bottomed skillet on medium high heat and add 1 tablespoon oil to it. Once oil is hot and shimmering, add cumin seeds and chopped green chill. Let cumin seeds sputter, then add turmeric, coriander and red chili powder.

Add boiled and mashed potatoes to the skillet. Sprinkle salt, amchur powder and garam masala. Give everything a mix and check for seasonings. Adjust if required. Turn heat off and set aside to cool.

While potatoes are cooling, get the batter ready. Take a deep mixing bowl and add besan along with ajwain, salt, turmeric and baking soda. Whisk to combine. Slowly start adding water while whisking, until a smooth batter forms. The batter should be medium consistency, neither very thick (think pancake) nor too thin (think crepe), somewhere in between a pancake and crepe batter consistency. I hope this makes sense.

Take about 2 teaspoons of potato mixture and start stuffing the chili peppers. The amount of potato mixture you use for each chili will depend on the size of the peppers you are using. The potato mixture should be completely contained in the pepper and not overstuffed.

Set a kadaahi or small skillet on high heat and oil for deep-frying. Heat oil (if you have a candy thermometer, it should read close to 350ºF). While oil is heating up, finish stuffing all the peppers. If you do not have a candy thermometer, a good way to check the oil temperature is by dropping a drop of batter in the oil. The batter should sink and then slowly rise to the top of the oil.

Dip each stuffed pepper in the batter, one at a time, and carefully drop into hot oil. Fry until golden. Remove onto a cookie sheet or tray lined with paper towels. Sprinkle chaat masala and serve hot with ketchup or chutney.

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