Madras Fried Chile Fritters (Molagi Bajii)

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Bajiis, the unstuffed Madras version of chiles rellenos, are popular tea-time snacks in Madras and other cities of Tamil Nadu. They are often accompanied by a mango chutney like the one in this section, and the taste combination is delicious. Serve with fruit drinks or beer.


  • 2 cups vegetable oil

  • ½ cup corn flour

  • ½ cup rice flour

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • ½ cup water

  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin

  • 10 green New Mexican chiles, roasted and peeled, stems on, slit length-wise on one side


Heat the oil in a skillet or wok over low heat.

Combine the flours and the salt in a bowl and add a teaspoon of the warm oil. Blend in the water and whisk to make a thick batter.

Turn the heat under the skillet or wok to high.

Rub the ground cumin inside the chiles and dip them in the batter. Reduce the heat to medium and fry the chiles in the oil for 2 minutes, turning once, or until they are golden brown all over.

Texas Fajitas

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There is no such thing as chicken or tofu fajitas because the word refers specifically to skirt steak that is marinated and grilled. This is actually a simple recipe to prepare, and it works best when grilled over mesquite wood, or natural charcoal with mesquite chips. The technique known as smoke-grilling is perfect for this meat, and flank steak can be substituted for the skirt steak. Tradition holds that fajitas were first perfected in south Texas in the 1960s and quickly became a staple for Mexican restaurants–and others–north of the border. It is a classic example of combining several methods to make tough meat more palatable: marinate it, grill it, and slice it thinly against the grain. Note: This recipe requires advance preparation.


For the Marinade:

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 3 jalapeño chiles, seeds and stems removed, minced

  • 1/3 cup lime juice

  • 1/3 cup soy sauce

  • 1/3 cup red wine

For the Fajitas:

  • 2 pounds skirt steak

  • 8 flour tortillas

  • Grated Monterey Jack and cheddar cheese

  • Sour cream

  • Guacamole

  • Grilled onions

  • Prepared Barbecue Sauce

  • Salsa of choice

  • Commercial hot sauce to taste




Combine the ingredients for the marinade in a bowl and mix well. Place the steak in a glass dish and pour the marinade over. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator overnight.

Grill the steak over a hot fire until medium rare, about 10 to 15 minutes, or if you can measure the temperature with a probe, 150 degrees F. internal temperature. You can also check for doneness by cutting into the steak. Remove from the grill and slice thinly against the grain.

Quickly heat each tortilla on the grill. Serve the sliced steak wrapped in a tortilla, and topped your choice of of condiments among the cheese, sour cream, guacamole, grilled onions, barbecue sauce, salsa, and hot sauce.

Grilled Shrimp Fajitas with Beer-Braised Onions

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(Recipe from Kent Rathburn, owner, executive chef Abacus, Dallas)

The nice thing about shrimp is that it cooks so quickly. If you’re hungry, you don’t have to wait long. You can prepare the onions ahead of time and reheat them on the grill. Or, cook them in an iron skillet on the grill just before you’re ready to serve them


  • 32 pieces shrimp, (16/20 count), peeled and deveined

  • 1/4 cup canola oil

  • 2 cloves garlic

  • 2 shallots

  • 1 jalapeño chile, seeds and stems removed

  • 1 bunch cilantro

  • Juice of 3 limes

  • 1/4 cup tequila

  • The Onions

  • 3 tablespoons butter

  • 4 onions, large, sliced thin

  • 8 cloves garlic

  • 16 ounces bock beer

  • 1 tablespoon salt

  • 8 flour tortillas


Place in a blender or food processor the canola oil, garlic, shallots, jalapeño, cilantro, lime juice and tequila. Blend until smooth. Place the shrimp in a large bowl. Pour the marinade over the shrimp and marinate in the refrigerator for one hour.

In a large cast iron skillet, place the butter and melt over medium heat. Add the onion slices and garlic and sauté until the onions are cooked and caramelized, about 12 minutes. When the onions become dark brown the add beer and deglaze the pan. Continue cooking until beer has reduced and thickened around the onions. Season with salt.

Prepare the grill. Place the shrimp on the grill and cook, turning, until white throughout, about 5 minutes. Place onions on platter; top with shrimp. Spoon into floured tortillas to serve.


Mexicali Flank Steak Fajitas

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Most of the calories in fajitas come from the toppings that we pile on, including cheese, sour cream, and guacamole. If you replace these condiments with a high-flavor salsa, you won’t miss any of the flavor.


•    1 pound lean flank steak
•    2 teaspoons ground chile, such as ancho or New Mexican Chimayo
•    1 teaspoon ground cumin
•    1 teaspoon ground coriander
•    1 teaspoon garlic powder
•    1 cup chipotle-based salsa, divided
•    Vegetable cooking spray
•    6 to 8 green or Mexican bulb onions
•    4 to 6 flour tortillas


Trim the visible fat from the steak. Combine the chile, cumin, coriander, and garlic powder, then rub the steak with the spice mixture.
Place the steak and ½ cup of the salsa in a zip-lock bag.
Marinate the steak in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours or overnight, turning the bag occasionally.
Heat a barbecue until medium-hot. Remove the steak and discard the marinade. Coat the grill rack and onions with the cooking spray. Place the steak and onions on the grill and cook for 8 minutes. Turn the steak and the onions, and continue to grill for an additional 5 minutes or until desired degree of doneness.
Cut the meat diagonally across the grain into thin slices. Place a few slices of meat into a flour tortilla, add a couple of grilled onions, top with additional salsa and serve.