Fried dish or Bhaja as the Bengalies call them are an important part of a midday meal in bengali cuisine. It accompanies a meal of rice and dal and makes a wonderful side dish. Some of the popular fries are Aloo Bhaja (potato fries), begun bhaja (fried brinjal), bodi bhaja, shak bhaja, potol bhaja (fried parwal) to name a few.
Some fries are prepared by deep frying the ingredients directly in oil and some are prepared by frying the ingredients, coated with a batter.
Here is the recipe for kumro phul bhaja. They are fried pakoras made with the fresh yellow flowers of pumpkin and fried after being coated in batter made of besan / flour.
- 20 kumro phool (pumpkin flowers)
- 1 cup besan
- water (for making batter)
- ½ tsp poppy seeds
- ½ tsp red chilli powder
- salt to taste
- oil for deep frying
- a pinch of baking soda
- Wash the kumro phul (pumpkin flowers) well and remove the stigma from the center and drain off the water.
- Sprinkle a little salt on the pumpkin flowers. Keep aside.
- Sieve besan in a bowl and add baking soda. Mix well.
- Slowly add water and mix with hand (in one circular motion) to form a smoother batter of thick consistency.
- Add poppy seeds, salt and red chili powder in the batter and mix well.
- Heat oil in a deep frying pan, add 1 tsp of hot oil in the batter and mix well.
- Dip the pumpkin flowers in the batter and slowly release the pumpkin flowers in the oil.
- Deep fry the pumpkin flowers till rich brown.
- Remove from the pan and drain extra oil on absorbed paper.
- Serve hot with steamed rice and dal.
If you have to add some ingredients to the batter, always add after making the batter, otherwise it becomes difficult to mix the ingredients and to form a smooth batter.