Blog posts

Cuban Oregano Bhajis

Cuban Oregano Bhajis


Happy Thanksgiving Canada!  I am fortunate to realize what a charmed life I live — I make my home in a beautiful place with a wonderful partner — and I’m grateful for many things.  Here’s what’s topping my list today:

  1. The Dooze, who is currently lying across my feet and keeping my toes warm.  He’s also hanging out for the tasty noontime snack of chicken stock and cheese that his uncanny internal clock tells him is scheduled for 10 minutes from now.
  2. The $2.99 Cuban Oregano seedling that I bought in June from our local Home Hardware.  Apparently, it thrives under near- negligent growing conditions and is now bursting out of its pot.
  3. Bhajis.  Not your usual turkey and stuffing, but in my experience, deep fried anything is a crowd pleaser.  And when the vegan/gluten-free crowd can join in too?  Well then you’ve reached Food Nirvana.  Or at least the perfect long weekend beer snack appetizer.


No Cuban Oregano?  I picked it up on a whim one day last spring, and now I want to have one with me — always.  In the meantime, if you don’t have a plant of your own, any vegetable will do.  Squash, onions, cauliflower, potato…you name it.

The rice flour in the recipe is optional, but it does help the batter cling to whatever you’re coating.


Cuban Oregano Bhajis

Serves 2 as a snack

8-10 Cuban Oregano tips (I cut them after the 4th set of leaves)
1/2 cup chickpea flour
1 tbsp rice flour (optional)
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp paprika
Vegetable oil for frying (I use sunflower/safflower)

1. Rinse the leaves and let them air dry.
2. Whisk the first 5 ingredients to eliminate lumps.  Whisk in enough water to form a thick batter that drops smoothly from a spoon.
3. Heat oil for deep frying to 350° F, and add 1 tsp of the hot oil to the batter.  Whisk well.
4. Dip each plant tip in the batter and shake gently to knock off the excess batter.
5. Gently drop the battered leaves into the oil and fry, occasionally turning, until golden brown.
5. Drain and serve hot with chutney and beer. (Tea would be good too…I guess.)