Last Updated on November 20, 2020 by Chef Mireille
Kenyan Potato Bhajia – Gluten Free Potato Fritters make a delicious party appetizer for game day or any celebration of friends and family. More heavily spiced than the Indian version, this is an irresistible snack for any time!
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Did you know that Kenya has one of the largest Indian populations in East Africa?
My first encounter with a Kenyan here in NY was a friend of mine named Vivek. Although his family is originally from Goa in India, he was born and raised in Kenya and spoke perfect Swahili.
I was very surprised when he told me he was from Kenya. Then I met some of his other friends who were also Kenyan Indians and then I realized he wasn’t rare and that Kenya had a very large Indian population.
Although Potato Bhajia has its origins in India where it is known as Aloo Bhajia, this is one of the most popular street foods in Kenya. Kenya has a sizable Indian population and much of Kenyan cuisine is a fusion of both Indian and local East African cuisine. Coconut milk is used a lot in curries and other dishes, as in this Kuku. So this Kenyan Potato Bhajia is a delicious representation of Indo-African cuisine.
Like most Indian fritters, these are gluten free, with the batter made of chickpea flour and rice flour.
So let’s go together to the streets of Nairobi with the Kenyan version of Aloo Bhaji.
How to make Kenyan Potato Bhajia – Gluten Free Potato Fritters
Don’t get alarmed by the long list of ingredients. Most are just spices and herbs.
This is a super easy recipe!
- Potatoes are sliced paper thin, using a mandolin.
- A batter is made by combining chickpea flour, rice flour, seasonings and water.
- The potato slices are dipped into the batter and then deep fried to golden deliciousness.
So let’s make sure our pantry has all the necessary supplies!
- chickpea flour
- rice flour
- ground turmeric
- carom seed
- black pepper
- ground cumin
- dried fenugreek leaves
- red chili powder
- garam masala
- ground coriander
- ginger paste
Have you tried Instacart yet? That’s how I get my fresh groceries delivered!
You can use white rice flour or brown rice flour.
DO NOT USE sweet rice flour or glutinous rice flour. This flour has much more starch and won’t yield the same results
Africans love using a variety of spices to achieve complex flavors, but missing a few of the spices need not be a deterrent for trying this recipe. Just omit what you don’t have!
Yes, but it will be difficult to get the potatoes as thin by hand. Make sure you are using a very sharp, serrated knife and that will help.
Place in a 400 F oven for 15-20 minutes until hot and crispy!
Serve Kenyan style Aloo Bhajia with ketchup or your favorite chutney.
Kenyan Potato Bhajia – Gluten Free Potato Fritters
- 3 medium potatoes
- 1 3/4 cup chickpea flour besan
- 1/4 cup rice flour
- 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon carom seed ajwain
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon dried fenugreek leaves Kasuri Methi
- 1 teaspoon red chile powder cayenne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon garam masala
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 tablespoon ginger paste
- 1/4 cup cilantro finely chopped
- 1 1/2 cups water
- oil for deep frying
- In a large bowl, combine chickpea flour, rice flour and all of the spices. Add cilantro and water. Mix until you have a thick batter.
- Using a mandolin, thinly slice the potatoes.
- Heat enough oil for deep frying to 350 F.
- Place the potatoes into the batter and toss well.
- By hand, take out the potato slices one at a time, tossing off the excess batter.
- Place in the hot oil. When they rise to the top of the oil, flip over.
- Cook until golden brown on both sides.
- Drain on paper towels.
- Serve with ketchup or your favorite chutney.
With Super Bowl Parties coming up, try this recipe instead of boring old French Fries!
Enjoy Gluten Free Potato Fritters with chutney!
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