For all Kannadigas (north, south, coastal...)there are few endearing foods that are very close to heart. We all love them with equal passion. One such food is Menasinakai - aka Menasina kai Bajji -Mirchi Bajji. The nomenclature differs, in south Karnataka it is called Menasinakai bajji, in central Karnataka it is called Menasinakai, in the northern part it is called Mirchi bajji. Again the way it is relished is also different. In south, it is rather stand alone, we just eat them without any accompaniments! or eat it with a small salad like sprinkling of carrots, onion, lime juice and some masala. In the central and northern parts it is relished with Churmuri- Mandakki oggarane/ Puri oggarane/Mandoli vagani or Pav. My cousin who was raised in Bellary which is sort of north-central part of Karnataka, is a big foodie as well. Well I should say every one in my family are true foodies, we all compete with each other for the top spot. I wonder who will eventually win. (May be my grandfather, no one can beat his age :)) So each one us being very particular about how a dish should taste, it is a hard job to please every one of us!! My mom, my cousin, my sister are few people who mostly end up pleasing all of us. Me on the other hand, can be very highly rated, or very poorly rated. I lack the consistency. May be in these two years, my skills have indeed improved! I will get to test it this time when I head back home.
Coming back to my cousin, he is an armature photographer has clicked some wonderful pictures. He is very lucky that his work involves a lot of traveling and he gets pictures from places far and wide. You can find some of his work here. Here is a sample of his work! Man I was drooling the minute I saw this picture... The bajjis looks absolutely mouth watering.
Also, this is what he had to say about the lick smaking goodie.
"... Menashinkai as we call it and love to eat it with Pav, Mandoli(Churmuri as you would call it) and the our fav. Mandoli vagani ( you should eat this on the road side, just yummmY)....."
One version of the recipe is here.