Anyone for a chilli bite? Chilli Bites, also known as bhajias or pakoras are a scrumptious Indian snack made with chickpea flour, potato, spinach, onion and spices all wrapped in a deliciously crispy batter. It’s becoming such a popular finger food at parties throughout South Africa.

chilli bites recipe


They’re also known by their Malay word dhaltjies or the Indian word Bhajias…but regardless of which name you prefer to call them, Chilli Bites always make a delicious vegetarian snack.

They are traditionally eaten as an appetizer during the breaking of the fast in Ramadan, but can in fact be served as an appetizer at any celebration.

Chilli Bites are crispy on the outside and soft and sponge-like on the inside.


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Chilli Bites
Recipe type: Appetizer
  • 11/2 Cups Chickpea Flour
  • ½ Cup Self Raising Flour
  • 1 Tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 Tsp Coriander Powder
  • 1 Tsp Cumin Powder
  • ¼ Tsp Turmeric
  • 1 Tsp Salt
  • 1-2 Tsp Red Chilli Flakes (Depending on How Hot You Like It)
  • 1 Large Potato, Coarsely Grated
  • 1 Large Onion, Coarsely Grated
  • 2 Handfuls Finely Shredded Spinach Leaves
  • Approx ½ Cup of Water
  • Oil For Frying
  1. Sift all the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients to the above.
  3. Mix in enough water to make a thick batter.
  4. Heat some oil in a large frying pan over medium heat and add a heaped teaspoonful of this mix at a time to the oil.
  5. Turn over when they are golden brown.
  6. Once the other side is golden brown, remove and drain on absorbent paper.
Serve hot with a sweet chilli sauce.
Tip: As a variation, you can omit the spinach, grated onion and grated potato and also dip, sliced eggplant, cauliflower, potato or courgettes into the batter before frying.
  1. When adding your water to the batter do not add all at once. Add a little water at a time until you have a thick batter.
Fry chilli bites over medium heat otherwise they might end up being brown outside, but uncooked on the inside.