Recently an article in one of whats app groups attracted me very much. It was about raw/ unripe fig pakora or bajji. I found it interesting as using raw fig in cooking wasn’t new to me. I made stir-fry & majjige huli (yogurt based gravy) already using them. Same evening we plucked 2 figs from our tree which were green & unripe. Made bajjis & we liked the taste. Only problem here is the white milk like sap released by the raw figs. Keeping figs for few hours after harvesting before using in cooking is a solution. One more point to note is, rinsing the cut fig pieces in water before making pakoras. It reduces the white sap to some extent.
To write little about these figs referred as elephant ear fig, it is a wonderful tree to grow for shade. Irrespective of what care one provides to this plant, a mature tree provides us lot of fruits. Out of them, only few ripe into delicious juicy fruits, rest falls off before even they mature. So it is ideal to use them in cooking in their unripe form. Here is one such recipe, Unripe fig bajji/ pakoda.
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Serves: 16-18 pakoras
Unripe / raw figs (Elephant ear fig) - 2
Gram flour/ Kadle hittu – ¼ cup
Rice flour / corn flour – ¼ cup
Red Chilli powder – 1 teaspoon (adjust according to taste)
Salt – 1 spoon (to taste)
Ajwain/ Om kalu/ Carom seeds – ¼ teaspoon
Asafoetida – ¼ tsp
Oil – for deep frying, I use coconut oil
- Clean the figs carefully to remove any bugs/ insects like ants & wash with clean running water. It is recommended to keep them aside for couple of hours to minimize the oozing of white sap (sticky milk) from the cut figs.
- Scrape out the outer skin with a regular knife, wash once again. Cut into 2 halves lengthwise, then slice into about 4-5 pieces from each half. Put them into a vessel having water so that the fig slices are rinsed well to remove maximum amount of white sap. Same process we follow for raw banana.
- Prepare a batter for bajji or fritter.
- Take a wide vessel with 1 cup of water. Add hing/ asafoetida, salt, ajwain and chilli powder. Give a stir.
- Add gram flour & rice/ corn flour, mix well to form a smooth batter adding enough water. This batter should not be too runny. Consistency should be such a way that, it should properly cover the jackfruit.
- Now, take oil in a frying pan. Heat it up on medium flame.
- When oil is ready, dip the cut figs one by one in the prepared flour batter to cover completely and drop carefully into hot oil. You can fry more number of bajjis in one batch depending on the oil in the pan.
- Fry until done or golden brown flipping the pakora in oil frequently. The hissing noise will be stopped when it is done & bajjis turn golden color.
- Now take the pakoda out of hot oil, draining oil completely and transfer to a plate with the tissue paper spread on it.
- Finish off all the cut figs in above mentioned way.
- Serve hot pakoda/ bajji with tomato sauce and a cup of tea/ coffee!
- This bajji can be made using only gram flour batter or only corn flour/ rice flour batter. I like the way mentioned in this post. That is 1:1 (equal measure) of rice & gram flour. This quantity makes pakoras crispier.
- This bajji tastes best when served hot.
- Individuals allergic to latex or plant white sap are suggested to avoid eating such dishes.