Simple Shrimp Bhaji Recipe

Shrimp Bhaji

Simple Shrimp Bhaji Recipe

I have previously posted recipes for the lovely little Indian deep-fried snacks known as Pakoras, including one for Tindora Pakora, and another for a delicious Squid Pakora. Bhaji are a very similar sort of preparation and, indeed, there are some many variations on the two, and so much overlap, that the names are almost interchangeable. The little appetizers you see above are a very simple Bhaji preparation using tiny shrimp, and a very simple spiced batter.

Ingredient Notes

Cocktail Shrimp
Cocktail Shrimp

These are the shrimp I am using. You can use larger shrimp and chop them up but the flavor of these relatively tiny sort is terrific (I uses them for my Shrimp Cocktail, in fact). The canned cocktail size are a fairly tasty substitute too but, unfortunately, the texture is nowhere near as good.

The Recipe Card below calls for Besan, or Chick-pea flour, for making the batter but you can also use plain White flour, or Whole-wheat flour if you prefer.

The Method

The Batter Mix for Shrimp Bhaji
The Batter Mix for Shrimp Bhaji

First, blend together the besan, turmeric, salt, pepper, celery seed and cumin and then add enough water (including any thrown off by the frozen shrimp) to make a very thick batter (about a quarter cup should do it). Now mix in the shrimp and other solid ingredients so that you have a firm mass that will ‘pile’ up rather than settling into a level pool of batter. You can add more water or besan to get this right.

Deep-frying Shrimp Bhaji
Deep-frying Shrimp Bhaji

Heat deep-frying oil to medium and then pick up a generous heaping teaspoon of the batter mixture (using two spoons helps). Drop it carefully into the oil and repeat, doing no more than 4 or 6 at a time. Make sure the oil is not too hot as you want the pakoras to cook all the way through without getting too dark on the outside. As they float to the surface of the oil, remove to paper towels to blot dry. Continue until the batter mix is used and then serve with a Chutney or Dipping Sauce of your choice.

Shrimp Bhaji with Dipping Sauce
Shrimp Bhaji with Dipping Sauce

Your Recipe Card:

Simple Shrimp Bhaji

These Shrimp Bhaji are an Indian style fritter featuring tiny shrimp fried in a Chickpea-flour batter seasoned with a lovely blend of spices.
Course: Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: Bell Peppers, Besan, Chili, Dried Shrimp Paste, Onion
Author: John Thompson


  • ¾ cup tiny Shrimp;
  • 3 tbsp. Onion finely chopped;
  • 2 tbsp. Red Bell Pepper finely chopped;
  • 1 tbsp. fresh green Chili finely chopped;
  • 6 tbsp. Besan;
  • 1 tbsp. Turmeric;
  • ½ tsp. each Salt and Black Pepper;
  • ½ tsp. Celery Seed;
  • ½ tsp. ground Cumin.
  • ¼ cup Water more or less.


  • Blend together the Besan, Turmeric, Salt, Pepper, Celery seed and Cumin with enough water to make a very thick batter.
  • Mix the Shrimp into the batter along with the other solid ingredients.
  • Heat deep-frying oil to medium and deep-fry Tablespoonfuls of the batter mix until golden and cooked through.
  • Drain the cooked Bhajis on kitchen paper and serve hot with a chutney or dipping sauce of choice.

Comments, questions or suggestions most welcome!