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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.)



  1. RavieNomNoms
    October 11, 2010 at 7:33 am

    How very unique and gorgeous!

  2. Sommer @ A Spicy Perspective
    October 11, 2010 at 8:24 am

    What a cool looking plant and tasty dish! Happy Thanksgiving!

  3. penny aka jeroxie
    October 11, 2010 at 3:10 pm

    This is the first time I’ve seen Cuban Oregano! How pretty….

  4. Angela FRS
    October 11, 2010 at 9:17 pm

    Gorgeous! Is there another name for this plant? Would love to find it.

    • Theresa
      October 11, 2010 at 10:42 pm

      Cuban Oregano is also commonly referred to as: Orégano Brujo (Puerto Rico), Indian Borage, Húng chanh (Vietnam), Mexican thyme, and Mexican mint. It`s Latin name is Plectranthus amboinicus.

  5. fooddreamer
    October 12, 2010 at 4:02 am

    I’ve never seen Cuban Oregano, but it looks interesting and your bhajis look delicious!

  6. Cajun Chef Ryan
    October 13, 2010 at 10:55 am

    Wow, does this look great! Reminds me of some fried spinach leaves I ate years ago at an Indian restaurant.

    Lovely, just pure lovely!

    Bon appetit!

  7. Oh, I could just shoot myself. I used to own a plant of this but it died. How I wish I could replace it. I want to make the bhajis and I know I could use something else, but the Cuban oregano looks SO cool.

    • Theresa
      October 13, 2010 at 2:27 pm

      Just out of curiousity, how did it die? I’ve heard they’re not very cold hardy…Theresa

  8. megan
    October 13, 2010 at 2:36 pm

    Too Cool… I have never seen such plant…

  9. Stephanie @ Dollop of Cream
    October 16, 2010 at 2:16 pm

    This looks like such an interesting recipe — and what a good way to use herbs at the end of the season before the frost withers them. I really like the idea of using chickpea flour in it — so tasty!

  10. Pepy @Indonesia Eats
    October 17, 2010 at 10:15 am

    I came across to your blog from Blog with Blogs. I have been wondering where I can get this Cuban Oregano as some Manadonese dishes require it such as

    • Theresa
      October 17, 2010 at 11:38 am

      Thanks for visiting! Halfway down these comments is a list of other common names for Cuban Oregano…perhaps a nursery near where you live can help you out…good luck! Theresa

  11. Gracie
    June 7, 2014 at 7:24 pm

    Hi Theresa,
    can you give me any information about where did you get this plant (Cuban Oregano) in Markham Canada?
    thank you so much for your time

    • Theresa
      June 18, 2014 at 6:49 am

      Gracie, I can’t help you there. I live on the BC coast, and that’s where I bought my plant. Maybe try Google?

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