Nina's vegetable bhagi
Half an hour


Classic side dish

(4 persons)

240g - gram flour
1 teaspoon of chilli powder
1 teaspoon of ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon of asafoetida
100g - carrots - cut into thin sticks
100g - mange tout, cut into thin sticks
50g - thin aubergines, cut into thin sticks
6 curry leaves
pinch of salt
1/4 cup of lemon juice or vinegar
oil for deep-frying

Here's another classic from Nina in her own words.

Mix with your hands, together the gram flour, chilli powder, turmeric, asafoetida and a pinch of salt. Add lemon juice or vinegar and water - enough to make a thick batter which holds the vegetables together - add more gram flour if need be. Mix the curry leaves into the batter.
Heat the oil in a deep pan and make sure it is in a heavy based pan. Heat oil to medium temperature - to test oil is hot enough a cube of bread should brown within 15 seconds. Using your hands lift the clumps of vegetables of the batter and lower into the pan for frying. The batter should be mixed well with the vegetables before you start frying. Leave the clumps in the oil until they are golden brown. Then lift and drain on kitchen towel paper.
This recipe can vary according to taste - you may wish to use any of the following - try different vegetables for example - potatoes with cauliflower. Also I like to use cumin seeds and fresh green chillies chopped up. Also you may wish to use any of the following spices fro more flavour - garam masala, chopped garlic, mustard seeds, ground coriander. See what you have in season as far as the vegetables are concerned and then just pick which are your favourite spices and try and test them out. That is the way I learnt.