Aloo bhujia or aloo besan sev is a gluten free, deep fried thin vermicelli prepared with potatoes and gram flour. It is a popular North Indian tea time and lunch box snack.
Recipe for this edition of Cooking from Cookbooks Challenge is aloo bhujia or aloo sev from Ismail Merchants Passionate Meals. You must be wondering of all the delicious looking non-veg recipes, why this recipe?! I browsed through some of Ismail Merchants cookbooks in bookstores and in the library but never made any of his recipes before. This book was on sale for less than a dollar on amazon few weeks ago and bought it right away. Secondly, how can anyone resist such a bargain!!
Though the book has many non-veg recipes, since I bought the book recently, I did not explore the book. On weekends, it is usually biryani and on weekdays I don’t eat meat or seafood
twice a week, now it is once a week. And on the rest of the days, I could not try any new non-veg recipes from this book. When browsing through the book, aloo sev caught my attention. It is knew to me and am glad I tried it. Both of us liked the sev.
Coincidently, this happens to be my Diwali snack. I also made slow cooker palakova or something of that sort a couple of days ago. Well, I am not going to post that recipe though! Preparation of palakova is another story but to keep it short, it turned into a thick version of condensed milk. It was edible and in fact, Mr.U liked it a lot.
What is Aloo Bhujia or Aloo Besan Sev
Bhujia or sev is a deep fried crispy thin vermicelli or noodles snack. Sev is prepared by pressing dough in a gadget called sev press to get thin vermicelli like sev. Dough for aloo bhujia is a mixture of boiled potatoes and gram flour seasoned to taste. To prepare and fry bhujia, press the dough directly into hot oil and I followed the recipe as given, adjusting the seasoning to my taste. This is an easy preparation and only time consuming part of the preparation is boiling and cooling the potatoes. Rest of the preparation is done in less than half an hour. Cooking time in the recipe depends on the size of the deep frying pan. If using a bigger pan, cooking time is less than 20 minutes.
Here is the color photo of the above picture. This is the sev I made the first day.
Aloo Besan Sev Recipe
- 1 lb. or 3 medium-large Potatoes I used Red
- 1 cup Besan ~ Gram Flour ~ Chickpeas Flour
- ½ – 1 tsp. Chili Powder adjust to taste & check notes below. I used 1 tsp.
- ½ – 1 tsp. Salt Adjust to taste. I used 1 tsp.
- Pinch of Ajwain ~ Carom Seeds crushed can use ¼ tsp. Asafoetida
- Oil for deep frying
Wash potatoes and boil for 30 minutes or until cooked. I dice the potatoes before boiling to speed up the cooking. Once the potatoes are boiled, let cool and peel them.
In a big bowl, mash the potatoes.
Take oil in a deep skillet or pan for deep frying and heat it.
Add chili powder, salt and crushed ajwain (or asafetida) to mashed potatoes and mix well. Add gram flour and mix well to make dough/batter. Dough should be soft, softer than chapati dough. If required add some water. Check note below.
Add 1 – 2 tsp. oil, make 3-4 balls and place one ball in the sev press. I used a small pan for deep frying and I had to fry the sev in 2 batches before refilling the press again. For the listed recipe, I had to fry the sev in 6 batches, refilling the sev press twice.
Once the oil is hot, reduce the heat to medium high and press the sev over hpt oil to fill the pan. Fry the sev for 2 ½ – 3 minutes or until light golden brown, turning the sev 2-3 times. The sev may feel soft but will become crunchy once cool.
Remove the sev from the pan and drain on paper towels. Prepare the second batch by repeating the previous step.
Refill the sev press and repeat steps 6 & 7 until all the balls are pressed into sev and deep fried.
Let sev cool completely and store in an airtight container.
- Water - The first time I made the sev, added ¼ cup water to the dough. It was a little sticky and I was afraid I might have made the dough too loose. But it worked fine. However, the second day I did not add any water and this dough was much easier to handle.
- Deep Frying - Do not over fry the sev. The sev might feel soft but will become crunchy when completely cooled.
- Spice - Nov 4, 2013: I used 1 tsp. chili powder and the first two days I felt the spice level was perfect but since yesterday, for some strange reason, I found the sev a bit spicy. That is strange! I would suggest using less than 1 tsp of chili powder.
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Food pictures in black & white have a dramatic effect and it has been a while since I participated in Black & Whie Wednesday. I am sending the above picture to Black & White Wednesday # 104 hosted by Simona, an event started by Susan and organized by Cinzia