Second week at my cookery class, and we actually get our hands on some hot oil. I’m a bit worried when my bhaji-mix is looking a much darker orangey-brown than everyone else’s (onion + gram flour = yellow, mostly). But CB points out that maybe my red pepper is fresher, ergo more juicy, ergo has discoloured the mixture. Since CB has a giant production line of spinach & onion bhajis on the go, I take the plunge and fire up my wok first.
Turns out gas would be better than the electric cooker we’re working with for keeping the oil at the right temperature, so I aim to keep everything on the hot side, and certainly, the requisite bubbling and spluttering is going on. But it all gets a bit tense when it comes to judging whether these are done — and for once nipping over to see what the women behind us are up to is no help, because since their bhajis started a different colour, they’re going to end up a different colour too — doh! Anyway, by the time I’ve carried a solitary bhaji half-way across the classroom to get some advice from our teacher (TAKE THEM OUT NOW!), the rest of batch 1 are looking a little bit frazzled…
…but they still taste fucking great! And all produced by my own fair hand. It’s only when I notice the kick in the back of my throat, that I realise that perhaps adding 50% extra (BRIGHT RED) chilli powder might have had chromatic side effects. Admittedly three days later, after at least two meals composed entirely of bhajis, the appeal is fading a little, but we’ll count phase 1 of the operation a success.