Kenyan Style Maru Bhajia

Maru Bhajia is a popular Kenyan snack, made with thin potato slices, coated in a spicy gram flour and deep-fried. Indulgent, comforting and delightful. The batter for Kenyan Style Maru Bhajia is mixed with herbs, spices and made with minimal to no water at all.

Kenyan Style Maru Bhajia

Kenyan Style Maru Bhajia is the East African version of crispy potato bhajia. For Indians that grew up in East Africa, Maru Bhajia is pure comfort food. Served hot and crunchy it’s a dish that evokes childhood memories for many! Here is the chutney recipe.

Kenyan Style Maru Bhajia Making Kenyan Style Maru Bhajia

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In Nairobi, Kenya, a shop called Maru’s made these crispy potato bhajias. The recipe then came over to the UK as the family moved and opened another shop in Wembley, London, making and serving the original recipe.

Maru Bhajia

HOW THESE DIFFER FROM INDIAN STYLE BHAJIYA

Kenyan Style Maru bhajia are made with thinner cut potatoes.

The batter is made by sprinkling the flour directly onto the potatoes as opposed to Indian bhajiyas, where the batter is made separately with water and then potatoes are dipped into the batter, then fried.

There are also minimal masalas used in the batter. 

Kenyan Style Maru Bhajia Making Kenyan Style Maru Bhajia

HOW TO MAKE THE BEST MARU BHAJIYA

Cut thin, even potato slices that will cook evenly. 

Don’t skip the rice flour, this helps keep the bhajia crispy. It also soaks up excess moisture released from the sliced potatoes, keeping the bhajia crispy.

Don’t be tempted to add extra water. Using less batter makes them crispy, crunchy and gives them their unique taste.

Eat these hot! Serve them with your favorite chutney or ketchup (don’t judge lol).

{Similar Reads: Hot, Crispy Tandoori Masala Fries}

Kenyan Style Maru Bhajia

Kenyan Style Maru Bhajia
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Maru bhajia is a popular Kenyan snack, made with thin potato slices, coated in a spicy gram flour and deep-fried. Indulgent, comforting and delightful.
Author:
Recipe type: Appetizer
Cuisine: East African Indian
Serves: 3-4
Ingredients
  • 2 large white potatoes; cut into ⅛ inch slices
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • ¼ cup chickpea flour/besan/gram flour
  • 1 tablespoon chopped green chilies
  • 1 teaspoon haldi/turmeric powder
  • 3 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • 1½ teaspoon salt; adjust to taste
  • 2 tablespoon rice flour; finely ground
  • 1 teaspoon paprika (optional, I really love the sweet smokiness this lends and the hint of color)
  • Oil to deep fry
Method
  1. Wash and slice the potatoes using a mandolin slicer, or use a sharp knife to cut thin slices, no more than ⅛ inch wide.
  2. Pat dry the potatoes and place the slices in a large plate.
  3. Sprinkle on the salt, ginger, chillies, chili powder, turmeric, ajwain, cilantro, besan and rice flour. Let sit for 15 minutes.
  4. As the potatoes sit in the salt and spices their waters will release and there will be enough moisture released that will help to form a thick pasty batter. If not much water releases, add one tablespoon of water to create the thick paste like batter.
  5. Heat oil in a frying pan, wok or kadai.
  6. Use your fingers to smear some batter on to each slice and carefully add to the hot oil.
  7. Fry until the bhajias are crispy and golden.
  8. Turn in between of frying using a slotted spoon.
  9. Serve hot with your favorite chutney.

Enjoy!

Kenyan Style Maru Bhajia Pin

5 thoughts on “Kenyan Style Maru Bhajia

  1. Hi Nisha.

    Recipe looks good 🙂 I absolutely love maru bhajia and will be trying this recipe this weekend. Can you please advise what potatoes work best for this?

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