Tofu Bajji (Tofu Pakoras, Fritters)

Fritters are called bajji in South India and pakora in North India. They are a very popular snack, especially during the rainy season. There are several vegetables that can be used in the preparation of pakoras – potato, onion, eggplant, raw banana, okra and even the papad. Paneer (cottage cheesed) is another very popular choice. Since I turned vegan and WFPB, I have avoided all dishes with paneer. But I still make these fritters with tofu – and love them.
I have had oodles of pakoras during this monsoon. The weather now moves on to autumn and winter. Both seasons are also ideal for pakoras. I am delighted as I can indulge in them for another six months. It’s only in the harsh Indian summer that this dish loses appeal. Especially in North India. This is an easy dish and is often had as a tea-time snack.

Tofu Bajji

150 gms tofu
100 gms chickpea flour (besan, kadalai mavu)
A pinch of turmeric powder (haldi, manjal podi)
1/4 tsp red chili powder
A pinch of asafoetida (hing, perunkayam)
A pinch of garam masala powder
1/2 tsp carom seeds (ajwain, omavalli vidhai)
Unrefined salt to taste
Water as required
Cut the tofu into cubes or squares
Set aside
Add the chickpea flour into a mixing bowl
Add turmeric powder, chili powder, asafoetida, garam masala powder, carom seeds and salt
Mix well
Add water, in very small amounts, and mix (use a whisk if necessary)
You should aim to get a batter of a thick, pouring consistency
Ensure that the batter has no lumps
Dip a piece of the tofu in the batter, ensuring that the batter evenly coats the tofu
Transfer to a steamer
Repeat for the remaining tofu pieces
Steam for about 2-3 minutes
Transfer to an air fryer
“Fry” for 10-12 minutes or till the surface is a nice, golden brown
Serve hot with tomato sauce/ketchup, coconut chutney or green chutney

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