Spicy Spinach Fritters (Fiji Bhajia)

November 24, 2020

Every family member in our extended family has a specialty. They may not know it but they do. I know who to go to when I am craving something whether it’s achar, curries, chai, sweets or in this case Spicy Spinach Fritters known as Bhajia. My Mausi is the go-to person for Bhajia. She makes this recipe so fast I feel like she always has a batch ready to-go. One minute we are doing a quick visit to her house, the next we are eating Bhajia. It just happens like that. She recently took the time to show me how she makes it. If you are looking for a simple and unique Bhajia recipe this is it.

I’ve been given the gift in life to be not only a SWEETS person but also a SALTY person as well, and I’m not sure if it is a blessing or a curse .  With the salty cravings comes spicy cravings. If you are a spice girl like me, you know what I mean. There are days that I just want something super spicy. This savory snack fulfills my cravings not just for spice but there is a nostalgia about it that makes you feel at home. You can make it as spicy as desired, or no spice at all.

The one thing you will find in this Bhajia recipe that you will not find in any other is the red bell pepper. My Mausi believes the red bell pepper makes a difference. The subtle sweetness of the red bell pepper shines bright along with the powerful flavors of the onions in this recipe.  I am a fan of this special ingredient!


Fiji Gulab Jamun

November 15, 2020

This sweet recipe is dedicated to Mrs. Bodh Mati Sharan (may she rest in peace). I know her by one name – Nani (maternal grandmother). She isn’t my actual Nani, she is the Nani of my two cousins Sheena and Shalina. I never got to meet either of my own grandmothers, so for me she was the closest thing to a grandmother that I’d known.

The entire family loved her cooking! My sister Poonam, was lucky enough to cook side by side with her to learn this Gulab Jamun recipe. My sister jokes that Nani didn’t measure anything so writing a recipe was not easy!

Right to Left: My Geeta Mami, Cousin Sheena,
My sister Poonam, Nani and Me (circa 1988)

I know that every time we make this recipe she is smiling somewhere. This is for the entire Singh family. My sister and I are so grateful to have this in our recipe book and I know you will too!

When my sister taught me the recipe of course they came out just perfect. When I tested it after that, the oil got too hot and I burned the second half of my batch. To be honest, I am the WORST at frying. I hate it, I avoid it, I just don’t fry anything in my house. Now that I am trying to learn many indo-fijian recipes, I have to get my frying act together.

First things first, I need to buy an oil thermometer. I know. I’ll add it to the thousand other things I want or need for recipe testing! If you’re an experienced home cook this won’t be an issue for you. Try to keep your heat on medium low  (should stay around 350degrees if you do have a thermometer or deep fryer). If the oil gets too hot, the outside of the jamun will burn and the inside will stay gooey. You don’t want this. Other than the actual ACT of frying, this recipe was actually fairly easy for me to do all on my own.

My American friends have said it tastes like a SUPER sweet donut that they could only have one. A few minutes later they went back for a second. They can be addicting! Just watch! I’d love to know if you make it! Comment below.