Mirchi Vada – Jalapeno Poppers, Indian Style!
Happy Holi friends! Holi, the festival of colors symbolizes welcoming of spring and colors of nature in form of new flowers and leaves. Lots and lots of snacky foods and sweets are made in our homes during Holi, various kinds of pakoras (fritters), like these and this mirchi vada being some of them.
I find the title of this post funny – I mean I could have gotten more creative with it but somehow it just came to mind and got stuck there. So it is what it is – Indian Style Jalapeno poppers. It cannot get more realistic than this – mirchi (think jalapeno peppers) are filled with an appetizing potato mixture (instead of cream cheese), dipped in batter and deep-fried. The flavors are different but concept is the same – just like human race. Hah – there is my moment of wisdom.
Most small towns in India have at least one famous “Pakora” shop, that specializes in all kinds of batter fried vegetables (having you seen these Onion pakoras?). The vegetables range from humble potatoes and onions to more exciting options like cauliflower, eggplant, paneer (recipe here) etc. oh and mirchi and bread pakoras too. The special thing about these mirchi pakoda or vada (just like bread pakoras) is that these are stuffed. Even more power to stuffed pakoras!
Unlike its American counterpart though, Mirchi wada is not tied to any particular occasion on sporting event (football food?). It can be enjoyed throughout the year, when it’s rainy outside, when its cold outside, when the moment strikes, or when you just have to use up some not so pretty looking peppers (that might be just me). Use peppers according to your liking or according to the spice level you can handle – jalapenos, anaheims, sweet peppers, or Hatch chili. The idea is that the pepper should be plump and decent size – you definitely cannot use a serrano or thai chili for this. The masala is made with boiled potatoes mixed with spices. You can choose to temper the potato stuffing or not. Here is the recipe run down.
Mirch vada is prepared with mildly hot chili pepper, which are stuffed with little tangy potato masala, dipped in chickpea flour batter and deep fried until crispy.
For Potato stuffing:
- 2 Potatoes boiled and coarsely mashed
- 1 green chili finely chopped optional
- 1 tablespoon oil
- A pinch asafoetida
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon coriander powder
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
- ¼ teaspoon red chili powder
- ¼ teaspoon garam masala
- ½ teaspoon Amchur, dry mango powder See Notes
- Salt – to taste
For the batter
- 1 cup Chickpea Flour/besan
- ¼- teaspoon caraway ajwain seeds
- ¼- teaspoon turmeric powder
- Salt – to taste
- A pinch of baking soda
- ½ cup water – or more if needed
- 12-15 big jalapenos or other big chili peppers
- Oil for deep-frying
- Chaat masala – optional
Rinse the chilies with fresh water and pat dry with a clean kitchen towel. With a paring knife, make a slit in each chili pepper, length wise, making sure not to cut all the way. Carefully remove the seeds and veins from inside the pepper. Repeat until all the chilies are slit and their innards removed.
Set a heavy bottomed skillet on medium high heat and add a tablespoon of oil to it. Once the oil is hot and shimmering, add the cumin seeds and chopped green chill. Let the cumin seeds splutter and then add turmeric, coriander and red chili powder.
Add the boiled and mashed potatoes to the skillet, sprinkle salt, amchur powder and garam masala. Give everything a big mix and check for seasonings. Adjust if required, turn the heat off and set aside to cool.
While the potatoes are cooling, get the batter ready. Take a deep mixing bowl and add the besan along with ajwain, salt, turmeric and baking soda. Whisk to combine. Slowly start adding the water while whisking until a smooth batter forms. The batter should be medium consistency – neither very thick (think pancake) nor too thin (think crepe), so somewhere in-between a pancake and crepe batter consistency. I hope this makes sense.
Take about 2 teaspoons of potato mixture and start stuffing the chili peppers. The amount of potato mixture you use for each chili will depend on the size of the peppers you are using. The potato mixture should be completely contained in the pepper and not over stuffed.
Set a kadaahi or small skillet on high heat and oil for deep-frying. Heat the oil (if you have a candy thermometer, it should read close to 350 degrees F. While the oil is heating up finish stuffing all the peppers. If you do not have a candy thermometer, a good way to check the oil temperature is by dropping a drop of batter in the oil. The batter should sink and then slowly rise to the top of the oil.
Dip each stuffed pepper in the batter, one at a time, and carefully drop into the hot oil. Fry till golden. Remove the pakoras out on a cookie sheet or tray lined with paper towels. Sprinkle chaat masala and serve hot with ketchup or chutney.
Hope you enjoy these!
Love – Vaishali.
This recipe is naturally vegan and gluten free.
If making a bigger batch, keep the fried mirchi vadas warm in an oven set to “warm” setting, while you finish frying all.
Leftovers can be toasted in a toaster oven for a perfect crunchy snack with your evening cup of chai.
If you do not have Amchur (dry mango powder), feel free to use lime juice to add desired level of tartness to the potato mixture.
Knife and chopping board
Measuring Cups and Measuring Spoons
Skillet (I love mine)
Kadaahi or deep pan to deep fry
NamraJuly 14, 2018 at 11:31 am
Happy Holi! I’m a huge fan of jalapeno poppers, and would love to try this! Try to eat this I mean, it looks reallly tasty. However this recipe might be too advanced for me, I have never fried anything in my life! But maybe I’ll show this to my parents when I visit them and make it with a little bit of help.
VaishaliJuly 14, 2018 at 11:41 am
That’s great Namra. Let me know if you try it. And I’m happy to help if you have any questions along the way..:)
ShannonJuly 14, 2018 at 1:59 pm
I’m usually not a huge jalapeno popper fan, but THESE look incredible! I love the use of potatoes and all the Indian spices. Such a great idea! Definitely saving this recipe!
Adrienne BrunerJuly 14, 2018 at 11:41 pm
Oh my goodness, yummy! I love anything jalapeño… definitely going to be making this recipe!
ChristinaNovember 23, 2018 at 6:22 pm
This post is well done! 🙂 I love how you explained everything step-by-step and related it to other cultures. You photos are bright and appealing! 🙂
BrianaNovember 23, 2018 at 6:54 pm
This recipe looks so yummy! I can’t wait to make this myself!
CharlotteNovember 23, 2018 at 9:07 pm
I enjoy Indian food and jalapeno poppers. sounds like a yummy recipe!
NomadographerNovember 24, 2018 at 4:50 am
Aaahhh, one of my favourite snacks. Gonna try your recipe as well.
KatieNovember 24, 2018 at 5:41 am
I love jalepeno poppers! This is a great variation – you make Indian food really accessible. Thanks!
Jasmeet SinghNovember 24, 2018 at 7:09 am
This is making me hungry. I love pakoras and its a Sunday tradition to have pakoras in breakfast. Saved this recipe and will show my mum.
Neil Alvin NicerioNovember 24, 2018 at 8:39 pm
Delicious! I tried doing this last night following your article. Thank you.
remoNovember 24, 2018 at 11:20 pm
This is mouth watering to say the least. I would love to try it myself. Thanks for the recipe!
InduNovember 25, 2018 at 3:42 am
What a mouthwatering treat for me. I am so fond of vadas and now with your recipe at hand, I can try cooking myself.
Keshia RichmondNovember 25, 2018 at 5:05 am
Mirchi Vada – Jalapeno Poppers, Indian Style sounds delicious- great recipe. I’m sure it’s delicious.
jefersonNovember 25, 2018 at 1:10 pm
this reminds me of dynamite…….but your jalapeno has an Indian twist…..this must be good……
JibranNovember 25, 2018 at 3:01 pm
Btw do you know about matka chai? 😀
JibranNovember 25, 2018 at 3:02 pm
Please post about Matka Chai too 😀
JessicaNovember 26, 2018 at 9:16 am
The first thing I thought was appetizer for SuperBowl haha and you all for it anytime I love it! The recipe looks good and can be used at future cookouts as well.
The Travel BunnyNovember 26, 2018 at 10:10 am
Wow, this seems too spicy for me, but perfect for my dad! I’ve sent him a link 😀
soonjooNovember 26, 2018 at 10:16 am
My husband loves jalapeno poppers! I never get crispy enough. I would love to try this recipe for him.
SultanNovember 26, 2018 at 11:05 am
Such a lovely recipe. I’m afraid of heartburn though.
Nominal NomadNovember 26, 2018 at 11:21 am
I love Jalapenos!!! Can eat them with everything! i will def. try your recipe, thanks for sharing
Glorious HeightsNovember 26, 2018 at 1:16 pm
Looks Good.. I’m definitely going to try it my family lived Jalapeño!
Amber MyersNovember 26, 2018 at 2:43 pm
These sound SO good! I just love spicy things so I’ll be making these for sure.
Keshia RichmondNovember 26, 2018 at 3:30 pm
Mirchi Vada – Jalapeno Poppers, Indian Style sounds like something for someone to try who likes spicy tastes. Jalapeños are indeed a staple in Texas and other parts of the US.
Latte LindsayNovember 26, 2018 at 4:20 pm
These look amazing. I would love to try these out, your recipe seems really easy to follow.
KarminityNovember 26, 2018 at 4:47 pm
Looks so delicious! I love finding new recipes to try at home. Thank you for sharing with me.
Tara PittmanNovember 26, 2018 at 7:33 pm
I love spicy foods. These poppers look so delicious and my family would love them.
Shoni MunchtripNovember 26, 2018 at 9:26 pm
This reminds me of the Filipino appetizer dish, “Dinamita”. However, this should totally taste different with all the different spices used. Trying this recipe when I crave South Asian flavors.
passportofawanderwomanNovember 27, 2018 at 12:59 am
Oh so yummy…need these right now.. (writing this on a full stomach)…would go so well with some hot chai.
AlvernNovember 27, 2018 at 5:00 am
This recipe is genius. Just when you thought that Jalapenos are not versatile, think again. Maybe this can be used with other kinds of peppers as well.
SundeepNovember 27, 2018 at 6:02 am
This looks tempting mirchi vada with jalapeno looks deadly combo as we are not spicy lover but will definitely going to try this for sure. After all we are mirchi vada lovers.
What Corinne DidNovember 27, 2018 at 1:01 pm
So I can’t really eat jalapenos because it is too spicy for me but i love the sound of that recipe! i could replace the jalapeno by some red pepper, no?
VaishaliNovember 27, 2018 at 1:16 pm
Yes! Sweet peppers (yellow, orange, red) will work.
blair villanuevaNovember 27, 2018 at 10:52 pm
I love spicy foods including jalapenos. Though I might dipped in a gravy for a more tasty!
Thanks for sharing your recipe 😀
LiveLoveAndAdventureNovember 28, 2018 at 12:16 am
These poppers look amazing! I am going to a party this weekend and was trying to think of something new to make and this could be a great option!
Hannah MarieNovember 28, 2018 at 11:02 am
Yum! These looks so good! We have a dish almost the same as this, I’d love to try this!
Bindu ThomasNovember 28, 2018 at 11:01 pm
Oh my god! This look really yummy.. I had been eating this daily when I was in college. I want to make it now and enjoy with my friends..
SandraNovember 28, 2018 at 11:17 pm
I love this!! I really like the combination of spicy and cheesy flavors! We call this dynamite here at home
Dalene EkirapaNovember 29, 2018 at 3:21 am
Happy Holi! The festival of colors oh my! We don’t celebrate it over here but if I had to celebrate it with such a recipe, I would. The jalapeno looks just yummy…with chilies especially!
The Beauty flicksNovember 29, 2018 at 8:28 am
It is one of my favorite recipe. After reading your post, I am craving to eat it. 😁 😁 😁