Scallop Bhaji are not a proper traditional Indian dish, as far as I know. A ‘Bhaji’ is an Indian fritter, often served as a street snack, or an appetizer dish, and I have re-created the basic form here using scallop meat as the primary ingredient. The Japanese do something very similar in their Kakiage style dishes, but here the seasoning that is used makes for a little appetizer that is much more Indian in spirit.
Here is the diced scallop meat, along with the slivered onion, red bell pepper, and green chill being used for these Bhaji. The vegetables are given a generous sprinkling of garlic salt and then left to sit for about twenty minutes to macerate.
The batter is made with regular flour and egg-white, and is then seasoned with freshly ground coriander, turmeric, and coarsely ground red chili.
After the main ingredients are added to the batter mix, it all gets popped into the fridge for thirty minutes to chill. This not only helps the flavors develop a little but makes the mixture easier to handle.
To fry, you simply add heaped tablespoons of the mix to moderately high deep-frying oil, cooking in batches to avoid cooling the oil too much and making it easy for the Bhajis to stick together.
It helps if you do as the Japanese do when cooking Kakiage, and poke each fritter here and there with a chopstick or bamboo skewer during the process, as this helps the interior cook.
Once the Bhaji are all golden, you can give the whole batch a second frying to get them nicely crispy and then drain them on paper towels.
For service, you can plate them with any sort of dipping sauce you like. Here, these Bhaji are served in a little pool of mayonnaise infused with just a dash of chili sauce…
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- ½ Cup diced Scallop meat
- ¼ Cup slivered Onion
- ¼ Cup slivered Red Bell Pepper
- ¼ Cup slivered fresh Green Chili
- 1 pinch Garlic Salt
- 1/3 Cup Flour
- 1 Egg-white
- 1 tsp. Coriander Seed freshly ground
- 1 Tbsp. Turmeric
- 1 -2 tsp. coarsely ground dried Red Chili.
- Mix together the flour and egg-white, and just enough water to make a thick batter
- Stir in the seasonings followed by the main ingredients and allow the mixture to chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes
- When ready to cook, heat your deep-fry oil over a moderate high flame.
- Add heaped tablespoons of your batter mix to the oil a few at a time and fry for a minute or two, removing each Bhaji to a paper-towel lined platter as it becomes lightly golden.
- After you have completed the initial frying of all the Bhaji, add them all back into the oil for a second frying to get them nicely crispy.
- Drain once again on paper towels to remove excess oil and then serve while still hot along with a dipping sauce or chutney of your choice