Friday, 1 October 2021

Brined mango chutney/ Neeru mavinakai chutney

The #zerowaste concept isn’t new for us, people from coastal Karnataka. It is in our roots, this is what I always say. We preserve the locally grown & seasonal fruits and vegetables in the brined form. That is as simple as preserving with salt like pickles. Be it mango or hog plum or even jackfruit, we store this way and use them in cooking when the veg/ fruit is not in season.

Today I am sharing a very simple and quick recipe with brined mango, which we locally call as neeru mavinakai. We use small/ wild unripe mangoes to brine. You can also do it with other varieties available, but quality will not remain same. I used preserved mangoes made by my mother in law.

Brined mango chutney


Preparation time: 10 minutes

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

Brined mango/ neeru mavinakai – 1 (medium)

Freshly grated coconut - ¼ cup

Green chillis (I prefer bird’s eye chillies) - 2-3, adjust to your taste

Coconut oil – 2 tsp

Mustard seeds – ½ tsp

Dry Red chilli – 1

Curry leaves – 1 sprig

Garlic – 6 cloves

Observe that I am not mentioning salt here as generally salt in the mango is sufficient, if you feel you need more, then add salt as per taste.

 

Method:

  • Wash the mango, chop roughly removing the seed. Discard the seed.
  • Take chopped mango pieces, coconut and chilli in a mixer jar. Grind to make smooth chutney.
  • Transfer to the bowl.
  • Prepare a seasoning of mustard, coconut oil, minced red chilli and chopped garlics after peeling. On spluttering, add curry leaves and top the chutney with this tadka.
  • This chutney tastes great with hot parboiled rice with a dollop of ghee. You can also serve it with steamed white rice or neer dosa.
Neeru mavinakai chutney

Thursday, 9 September 2021

Pineapple rice/ Ananas rice bhath

Pineapple is one versatile fruit which goes great in sweet dessert to savory curries. I have already shared some of the recipes like pineapple rasam, pineapple chutney, pineapple juicepineapple kheer, pineapple sorbet, pineapple flavored sooji halwa… Today I am sharing an interesting rice recipe made with pineapple. Try this flavorful rice and make your meal interesting.

Pineapple rice


Happy Gowri Ganesha festival to you all.

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes

Serves: 3

Ingredients:

Finely chopped pineapple -1 cup

White Rice (Basmati/ sona masuri) – 2 cups

Onions - 1 (big)

Slit green chillis – 2

Bay leaf - 1

Cinnamon – ½ inch stick

Cloves – 3

Pepper corns – 6-8

Salt – to taste

Sugar – 2 tsp

Ghee/ Butter – 2 tbsp

Cashews – 10-15

Grated coconut – 2-3 tbsp (optional)

Coriander leaves (chopped) – to garnish (optional)

 

Method:

  • Wash rice and cook with required amount of water (1:2) & salt for 3 whistles. Don’t add more water and avoid cooking too soft. Set aside until pressure settles down.
  • Peel the skin of pineapple and chop it finely. Set aside.
  • Peel onions and Slice lengthwise into thin pieces.
  • Slit green chillis.
  • Crush pepper, cloves & cinnamon a bit using mortar & pestle.
  • Heat thick kadai/ wok with ghee/ butter (or you can use oil too).
  • Add the bay leaf and crushed spices. Fry until you get nice aroma.
  • Add green chillis, sliced onions, little salt and fry on medium flame until onions turn brown.
  • Add chopped pineapple and fry until it it cooked & water content evaporates.
  • Add grated coconut, Sugar and sauté until everything combines well.
  • Switch off the stove. Mix precooked rice. Garnish with chopped coriander and roasted cashews.
  • Serve this warm pineapple rice as is or with choice of sauce.

Notes:

  • You can use left over rice.
  • Rice can be cooked with coconut milk to enhance the flavour.
  • Jaggery can be used instead sugar.

Ananas rice bhath


Sunday, 15 August 2021

Eggfruit milkshake/ Canistel smoothie

Eggfruit / Canistel which is also known as cupcake fruit is a tropical evergreen tree native to Mexico, Guatemala and grown in countries such as India, Indonesia, Vietnam, Srilanka and so on… Scientific name: Pouteria campechiana (Wikipedia).

It was not known to us until recent years and this fruit is not liked by many. Though it belongs to the family Sapotaceae, the fruit doesn’t taste like Sapota. It has the texture of boiled egg yolk or pumpkin when ripen fully. The matured fruit has astringent property similar to that of raw sapota. The attractive dark orange colored fruits turn very soft this is the perfect time to eat. Shape and size varies largely.

Though I have been eating this fruit for few years now, I couldn’t try out many dishes so far other than milkshake. As I got few fruits from my father’s farm this season (June - August) I was browsing for recipe ideas though I had some in mind. I tried pancake, cake, milkshake this time. I stored pulp of fruit in deep freezer as I read it can be stored up to 3 months if kept in airtight container.

Eggfruit milkshake

Then I got this idea of milkshake with jaggery as sweetener than white sugar with added cocoa powder from my friend Karthik. I tried his recipe with the frozen fruit pulp which I had in refrigerator. It is very very tasty and the flavour of eggfruit blends well with the cocoa and jaggery flavour. Thanks Karthik for this idea. Now, let us go to the recipe part.


Fruit pics for reference:

CanistelEggfruit

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

Egg fruit pulp – 2-3 tbsp (fresh or frozen)

Chilled Milk – 1¾ glass

Jaggery powder – 2-3 tsp (adjust as per your taste)

Cocoa powder (unsweetened) – ½ tsp (optional)

 

Method:

  • Choose well ripe egg fruit, scoop out the pulp discarding skin and seed.
  • Take 2-3 tbsp fruit pulp, add remaining ingredients in a juice jar of mixie.
  • Blend everything well to make a smooth milkshake or smoothie.
  • Transfer to a serving glass and serve chilled.  Optionally you can add ice cubes while serving.
Canistel smoothie


Notes:

  • You can make another version of milkshake with milk sugar and egg fruit.
  • You can optionally add roasted chunks of nuts (almond, cashew) on top of the milkshake/ smoothie for enhanced taste.
  • While eating egg fruit, make sure you are choosing ripe ones.

Sunday, 8 August 2021

Pineapple stew/ Ananas rasam/ Pineapple saaru

We are huge fans of this series of fruit rasams now. The balanced taste of sweet, spicy & tangy rasam makes it best appetizer in your menu. It is very easy to make which will be ready in no time. It makes a perfect refreshing drink for cold evenings after a busy working day. You can serve it with hot steamed rice as well. The fruits you can use to make this rasam other than pineapple are carambola (star fruit)/ lemon/ orange/ kokum rind/ hog plum/ passion fruit/ wild mangoes if in season.

In today’s post I am sharing the recipe of flavorful and delicious pineapple rasam which you won’t stop with a bowlful.

 

Pineapple stew

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 15 minutes

Serves:  4 bowls

Ingredients:

Finely chopped pineapple – ½ cup ( ¼ of a large pineapple)

Water – 5 cups

Salt – to taste (1 tsp)

Jaggery – Large chunk, about 4 tbsp powder

Turmeric powder – 1 pinch

Chilli powder / pepper powder – ½ tsp (You can use green chillis – 2)

Coconut oil – 1tsp

Cumin seeds – ½ tsp

Mustard – ½ tsp

Dry red chilli – 1

Curry leaves – 1 sprig

 

Method:

Peel off pineapple and chop into fine pieces.

Take water in a thick bottomed vessel.

Add pineapple pieces, salt, jaggery, turmeric and chilli powder/ green chillis (or both if you like spicy rasam).

Boil everything very well so that fruit is cooked.

Switch off the stove.

Prepare a rich tadka or tempering of cumin, mustard and dry red chilli in coconut oil. On spluttering, add cleaned curry leaves and add the seasoning to the rasam.

Serve this hot rasam in bowl to drink or serve with rice as side dish.

 

Ananas  rasam


Notes:

You can use either green chilli or chilli powder in this recipe or both as you like.

You can add crushed garlics too to the tempering to enhance the flavour.

You can make this rasam with the pineapple which is sour too.

Adjust salt & jaggery as per your liking.

Thursday, 29 July 2021

Guava masala gravy without curds/ Amrood ki subzi type 2/ Guava Curry

It is the season of this fruit and it is raining guava in our garden. In last season I tried yogurt based guava curry for roti after I learnt about it from a person from Northern India. It was tasty, this time I tried a version without curds. This is equally good too.  I tried the dish with a basic gravy (masala) recipe used for many of the North Indian side dishes like kaju masala, paneer butter masala, kadai veg… It suits to guava too.

 

Guava masala gravy without curds

Let’s check the recipe in today’s post.

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes

Serves: 3-4

 Ingredients:

Ripe guava – 3 (large) or 4 (medium), Seed part removed

Tomatoes – 2

Onions – 1

Garlic – 4 cloves

Garam masala powder – ½ tsp

Red chilli powder/ Sambhar powder – ½ tsp

Coriander powder – ¼ tsp

Turmeric powder – 1 pinch

Cashews – 6 (soaked in hot water)

Salt – to taste

Jaggery powder/ sugar – 1 tsp (optional) 

Kasoori methi – 1 tsp (optional)

Bay leaf – ½ (optional)

Corn flour – 1 tsp

Oil – 3 tsp

Cumin – ½ tsp

Coriander leaves – 2 tsp (finely chopped)

 

Method:

  • Soak cashews in 4 tsp of hot water for half an hour.
  • Peel, wash and chop onions finely. Set aside.
  • Cut guavas as you like (lengthwise or bit larger chunks the better) after removing the core having seeds. Keep aside.
  • Wash tomatoes and chop them roughly.
  • Take tomatoes in a wet grinding jar, add peeled garlics and soaked cashews. Grind to make smooth paste.
  • Heat a Kadai or wok. Add oil and cumin, allow spluttering. Add torn bay leaf and saute once.
  • Add chopped onions and fry until brown.
  • Add ground paste and cook on medium flame until tomato puree is cooked well and raw smell of garlic and tomato go away. Meanwhile add salt and sugar/ jaggery, add only if you like your gravy sweetish.
  • Add turmeric powder, chilli/ sambhar powder, garam masala and coriander powder.  Saute well and combine everything well.
  • Add cut guava pieces and water as required.
  • Dissolve 1 tsp corn flour in little water. Add it the gravy too.
  • Add kasoori methi.
  • Bring to a quick boil, don’t over boil this gravy. Switch off and garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
  • Serve with Chapathi/ poori.
Amrood ki subzi type 2

Notes:
  • You can keep this basic masala version to make other gravies like mixed veg curry, kaju masala etc..
  • Green chillis can be added to make it spicy.

Guava Curry

Saturday, 10 July 2021

Pomelo fresh juice/ Chakota hannina sherbet

I don’t think this largest fruit of citrus family named chakota/ chakotra (hindi) or sihi kanchi needs no much explanation as it is widely seen in Asia. Though it is closely related to grapefruit, it tastes bit different & sweeter. There are two varieties of pomelo or citrus maxima (scientific name), red and white. White variety is usually sour, used in juice, pickles or lemon rice. The red one is sweet which is commonly used in salads or used to eat as it is.

Though I have seen and eaten chakota so many times, I never thought of making juice of it. It came to my mind to make juice out of it when I got a large fruit from my maternal uncle recently. It was juicy and tasty but while eating we used to get some hard pieces in the edible part of it. So tried making this attractive juice, which was not only tasty but very refreshing. I ended up finishing the whole fruit by making juice continuous for 2-3 days. To my surprise, it hadn’t imparted any bitterness as I imagined as in case of orange juice. This nutritionally rich citrus fruit makes an excellent addition to our regular diet.

Try this simple yet refreshing healthy drink next time when you have a pomelo in hand.

Pomelo fresh juice

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Serves: 3-4

Ingredients:

Pomelo flesh/ endocarp – 2 cups (without white membrane)

Water – 2.5 glasses

Sugar – 4 -5 tsp (optional), you can use your choice of sweetener

Juice strainer

 

Method:

Clean pomelo. That is peel off the outer thick skin (exocarp) and discard. Remove thin white membrane covering the juicy flesh too. Use only the red juicy part.

Take the cleaned fruit in a juice making mixer jar, add sugar and 1 glass of water. Blend well and strain the juice using a strainer. Use remaining 1.5 glasses of water while straining the juice to extract the fruit juice completely.

Transfer to the serving glass and serve with added ice cubes optionally.

 

Note:

It is always suggested to finish off citrus fruit juices fresh as they may turn bitter as time passes.

Chakota hannina sherbet

Sunday, 27 June 2021

Cucumber Payasa/ Mullu southe Payasa/ Vegan Southekai Kheer

 Cucumber/ southekai is a vegetable used worldwide either in its raw form (tender) as salads or in curries or other dishes in cooked form. We Mangaloreans (people from Coastal Karnataka) call it mullu southe and we grow them during rainy season. After using tender ones to eat fresh, the remaining cucumbers are allowed to grow bigger and we store them for few months even after the season ends. The matured cucumbers can be stored upto one year nearly and can be used in curries, dosa or in kadubu. They need not be refrigerated unlike the tender ones.

Cucumbers are used in few sweet dishes like guliyappa/ suttavu , sweet dosa/ pachappa and even to make kheer. Sounds interesting, huh!? Then check out this recipe to make this delicious and flavorful payasa and enjoy!

This payasa can be made with only cucumber or to make this thick, one can add fried and soft cooked moong dal which enhances the taste. This dessert is vegan as usually made with thick coconut milk and jaggery. Freshly harvested cucumber makes the payasa richer and tastier.

Cucumber Payasa

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 15 minutes

Serves: 3-4

Ingredients:

Cucumber pieces (finely chopped/ thinly sliced) – 1 cup (1 small / 2 medium cucumbers)

Coconut milk – 1 cup (thick) + 1 cup (thin)

Jaggery – ½ cup (powdered/ grated)

Cardamom powder – ¼ tsp

Rice powder/ arrowroot powder – 1 tsp

 

Method:

  • Wash cucumber, peel off the skin and discard. Cut lengthwise and remove core too.
  • Now cut each halves of cucumber into 4-5 lengthwise pieces and slice into thin chunks. Neither chop them into very fine pieces nor too bigger ones.
  • Take think coconut milk in a thick bottomed vessel, add cucumber piece and boil until they turn soft.
  • Meanwhile, boil grated jaggery with little water and allow it to dissolve completely. Strain to remove any impurities.
  • When cucumber is cooked, add jaggery syrup prepared. Boil everything well.
  • This payasa will become thin. Rice flour is added to get thick creamy consistency. Dissolve 1-2 tsp of rice flour in 2 tbsp of water and add it to the boiling payasa.
  • Keep stirring in order to combine everything well.
  • Now add thick (first extract) coconut milk to the payasa. Add finely powdered cardamom for flavour.
  • Switch off the heat when it starts bubbling or just starts boiling. Don’t over boil it.
  • Serve this payasa warm. It tastes great even when chilled.

 

Notes:

Given here is the basic recipe of cucumber payasa. There is a variation possible with added moong dal to this recipe.

In this case, fry half cup of moong dal until you get nice aroma. Pressure cook the dal with required water until soft. Add cooked dal to the payasa before adding jaggery and thick coconut milk. Increase the measure of jaggery to 1 cup. No need of adding rice flour as dal gives the required consistency.

 

Mullu southe Payasa/ Vegan Southekai Kheer

Tuesday, 25 May 2021

Jackfruit seed curry/ Halasina beejada korma

Jackfruit is a super food in many ways. It is big, rich in nutrients, many parts can be used in cooking and it can be consumed in different phases of maturity starting from tender jackfruit till ripe & unripe mature jackfruit in sweet and savory dishes. It is best fruit that can help a country like India achieve food security dreams. When I write about jackfruit, its seed includes too. Jackfruit seed is one of best protein rich food articles which is underrated. This can be used in varieties of delicious dishes wither sweet or savory again.


Check the recipe of jackfruit seed milkshake, jackfruitseed kheer, jackfruit seed kulfi, jackfruit seed halwa/ burfi

As it is jackfruit season I am sharing another recipe of jackfruit seed gravy or curry which goes well with Indian breads like chapathi, parata or even with poori.

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

Jackfruit seeds – 1 cup

Tomato – 1

Onions – 1 (small)

Garlic – 6 cloves

Coriander leaves – few sprigs (to garnish)

Salt – to tatse

Jaggery – 1 tsp

Dry red chillis (byadagi) – 2, adjust to taste

Coriander seeds – 1 tsp

Oil – 2 tsp

Mustard – 1 tsp

Grated coconut – 4 tbsp


Method:

  • Peel the outer plastic like skin of jackfruit seeds completely and discard that skin. The brown cover can be retained.
  • Wash them with running water when seeds are clean without any skin left.
  • Cut the seeds into half or little smaller pieces.
  • Cook washed and cut jackfruit seeds in a pressure cooker with sufficient water (about 3 cups) and salt.
  • Chop tomatoes roughly, peel and chop onions too.
  • Take a frying/ tadka pan, roast coriander seeds & red chillis for a while.
  • Take spices, tomatoes, onions, garlics & grated coconut in a mixer jar and grind to smooth paste.
  • Now heat a wok/ kadai. Add oil & mustard.
  • On spluttering, add curry leaves. 
  • Add ground paste and fry until raw smell goes off.
  • Add cooked jackfruit seeds. Add jaggery, turmeric powder.
  • Mix and boil the curry well.
  • Transfer to the serving bowl garnish with chopped fresh coriander.
  • Serve with chapathi/ pooris.

Wednesday, 19 May 2021

Elephant foot flower chutney/ Yam flower gojju

Hello dear reader!

I guess you are reading the post title for the second time if you are familiar with the plant of elephant foot/ yam or suvarna gadde (kannada). Definitely you will do so if you have come across its stinky flower. Yes, to confirm it is chutney with yam flower, not tuber.  

Elephant foot flower chutney


It was about 3 years back, when I just started my blogging journey. My relative Sahana who shared interesting traditional dishes and few interesting ingredients like this to me already, her interests matches that of me. It helped me in my research on food articles. Thank you very much Sahanakka for sharing your knowledge with me. When I met her one day, she mentioned about this flower of Amorphophallus paeoniifolius/ elephant foot. I was surprised to know that this flower is edible as we only knew so far about the worst scent it releases when it blooms. When I double checked, she also stressed about its harvest before it blooms into stinky flower. So it must be used when in the form of bud. These flowers are found just before monsoon sets in if you have planted yam.

It remained in my mind after I heard it for the first time and I could not get hold of at least one flower till this year. Meanwhile, there was a discussion going on in a whats app vegetable group in which I am a participant.  Last week (mid May), I spotted one flower bud sprouted above the ground in my garden from the recently planted yam seed. 

I could not wait more to try my hand in cooking of this flower, immediately shared my thought of using it in my kitchen to hubby. He was skeptical about 2 points one is smell & another is the itchiness. Yes, as the yam tuber, there is a possibility of any part of this plant such as stem and flower may itch on eating. This reaction is due to its high content of calcium oxalate. I searched a bit in google about it and understood that this exotic flower is very famous in Goan cuisines.  Sunnachi as it is called in Goa and they make delicious curry out of it. So I had no second thought  to pluck the yam bud thinking it may bloom anytime and made this chutney. It is too tasty with the smell resembling that of mushroom (especially shiitake) while cooking. I used little more tamarind in-order to avoid any itchiness. This chutney goes great with rice and ghee/ or with curd rice too.

To explain about edible parts of this flower,

There are 3 layers visible in this flower - top purplish bulb like structure, below that a structure looks like mini corn cob and another layer covered with tiny flowers. All these are covered by an external leafy part. All these parts are edible and can be used in the dish.

 


Let’s check the recipe now!

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 15 minutes

Serves: 3-4

Ingredients:

Yam flower bud/ Suvarna gadde hoovina moggu – 1

Freshly grated coconut – ¼ cup

Tamarind – 1 tsp

Salt - 1-1.5 tsp, adjust to taste

Onions – 1 (small)

Garlic cloves – 3-4

Red chillis – 2

Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp

Sambhar powder/ gojju powder – ½ tsp, you can add your choice of masala

Coconut oil – 3 tsp

Mustard seeds – 1 tsp

Curry leaves – 1 sprig

 

Method:

  • Cut yam flower bud found above soil. Chop off the stalk portion. Other than stalk, every part found about soil can be used in cooking.
  • Wash clean holding under running water. Watch carefully as there may be bugs found as this flower attracts many of them, remove if found any.
  • Pat dry with a clean towel. Water content may trigger itchiness in hands while cutting this flower.
  • Carefully chop the flower into small chunks. Keep aside.
  • Peel garlics. Peel and chop onions finely.
  • Now heat a thick bottomed pan/ kadai. Add 2 tsp oil.
  • Add cloves of garlic and chopped onions.
  • Fry until onions turn translucent.
  • Add chopped yam flower, turmeric powder and tamarind.  Add sambhar/ gojju powder or choice of masala. Sauté for a couple of minutes.
  • Add salt, sprinkle little water and cook the flowers covered until they turn soft.
  • Switch off the stove when it is done. Allow cooling.
  • When it is cooled, take it in a mixer jar. Add grated coconut and grind to make smooth chutney.
  • Transfer to the serving bowl.
  • Prepare a seasoning of mustard seeds and curry leaves in coconut oil. On spluttering, add it to the chutney
  • Serve chutney with hot rice and ghee.
Yam flower gojju

Thursday, 13 May 2021

Pepper rasam/ Simple Karimenasu saaru

Pepper is king of spices. Yes, I guess there is nothing wrong in calling so. It has number of benefits if included in regular diet. It is a best recommended spice in treating various respiratory issues. Be it sore throat or runny nose, pepper is the first thing strikes to one’s mind. So there is no harm in adding it in our regular diet moderately at present scenario. While I state this, I suggest using it moderately as it may increase the body heat. According to Ayurveda, pepper is not only beneficial in cold and related issues. It is believed to be useful in weight reduction, intestinal health, relieving stress…

This wonderful spice is grown well in coastal Karnataka, malnadu.. . This spice can be used in varieties of dishes like salads, rice items, curries, pickles and many more. Or one can use it in the form of simple tea/ kashaya to get the most of benefits from it as home remedy. Today, I am sharing a recipe of quickest pepper rasam which can be served as soup or as side dish to the rice. My pick was this over the strong pepper kashaya during my school days when I used to catch cold quickly and more frequently. It is such a soothing drink to the throat and light on tummy. One can make it mild to strong as per liking.

Pepper rasam


Also check similar recipes of immunity boosting drinks such as

Golden milk

Coriander cumin tea/ kashaya

Indian masala tea

Khus/ vetiver water

Blue tea

Gooseberry/ nellikai rasam

Lemon rasam

Now, let us jump to the recipe of pepper rasam or menasu saaru.  This works best for new moms and takes its place in postnatal care.

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 10 minutes

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

Black pepper corns – 10-12

Water – 4 cups

Tamarind – small gooseberry sized/ 1 tsp pulp

Jaggery – lemon sized/ 2 tbsp powder

Salt – 1 tsp

Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp

Cumin powder - 1/2 tsp (optional)

Coconut oil – 1 tsp

Mustard – ½ tsp

Cumin seeds – ½ tsp

Garlic – 5-6 cloves

Dry red chilli - 1

Curry leaves – 1 sprig

 

Method:

  • Crush and powder black pepper corns.
  • Soak tamarind in little water and squeeze to get the pulp.
  • Take 4 cups of water in a vessel and add pepper powder.
  • Add tamarind, jaggery, salt, cumin powder and turmeric powder.
  • Boil everything well for 5-10 minutes.
  • Switch off the heat.
  • Prepare a seasoning of cumin, mustard, cut dry red chilli and peeled and crushed garlic in coconut oil. On spluttering, add curry leaves and switch off the heat.
  • Add the tadka/ seasoning to the rasam.
  • Serve this rasam hot as a drink or with rice.

Notes:

  • One can add few dry kokum rinds to the rasam. Reduce the tamarind a bit.
  • Adjust jaggery and tamarind as per liking.
  • With this number of peppers, rasam will be mildly spiced. You can increase pepper if you wish to.

Simple Karimenasu saaru

Sunday, 2 May 2021

Pumpkin flower tawa fry/ Shallow fried pumpkin flower fritters

If you love nature, it never disappoints you! Hope you all agree with it. Nature gives us so much which we cannot return or repay in anyway. What we all can do is, grow little green around us in-order to save this beautiful earth for tomorrow. We can use natural resources thoughtfully to save them for our own future. Even during this toughest time of pandemic, one thing that supplies positivity is green/ plants. This way we can give back to nature in the form of oxygen that we consume to survive.

pumpkin flower

Why am I writing about nature so much today! Reason behind this is major ingredient of today’s recipe, pumpkin flower. As I said earlier edible flowers are magical in terms of their benefits. They aren’t just fancy to see on your plate but with they have numerous health benefits too.  Pumpkin flowers aren’t any less. Normally if you have couple of pumpkin vine in your garden, you will see only male flowers which don’t result in fruit for initial month. Then it is ideal use them in your cooking. They are rich source of Vitamins A, B9, C and minerals like iron, phosphorous. They are good for eye health, and they help in improving immunity. So don’t wait any more to use them in cooking if you have access to them. Culinary usage can be in the form of simple delicious chutney or in salads or like the one which I am sharing in today’s post.

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 15 minutes

Serves: 3-4

Ingredients:

Pumpkin flowers (male flowers*) – 8-10 (as available)

Gram flour – ½ cup

Small semolina/ Chiroti rava – 2 tbsp

Rice flour/ corn flour – 2 tbsp (optional)

Salt – ½ tsp

Chilli powder – ½ tsp

Turmeric powder – a pinch

Sambhar powder / garam masala – ¼ tsp (optional, just for flavour)

Oil – 2-3 tbsp (for frying)

 

Method:

  • Collect fresh pumpkin flowers, remove stamen and stalk, discard them. Check for any bugs in the flower and if found remove them. Normally, ants love the flowers.
  • Wash the flowers carefully and pat dry to remove any extra water content.
  • Now take gram flour, semolina, salt, chilli powder, turmeric powder and sambhar powder (if using) in a wide mixing bowl. Add little water at a time to make bajji like batter. It should not be runny, you will require nearly ¼ cup of water.
  • Heat a tawa/ griddle.
  • Sprinkle little oil.
  • Dip one flower at a time in prepared batter so that it is covered well and place on hot tawa. Do the same with rest of the flower and spread on the tawa.  You can make around 5 flowers once depending on the size of the pan.
  • Cook one side for a minute on medium flame. Drizzle little oil on top and flip each flower to cook other side too. Take them out of tawa when both sides turn golden brown, which will be crispy by this time.
  • Finish off all the flowers this way and serve the fries hot with rice as a tasty side dish or as snack with your choice of sauce.

Pumpkin flower tawa fry


Notes:

  • *I mentioned male flowers to be used as they don’t give fruits and hence you can pluck them. Female flowers are also edible but plucking them results in loss of fruits.
  • Serving these fritters hot is important as they taste best and crispy when hot.
  • One can deep fry these too.
  • Many variations possible with this recipe. You can use only gram flour to coat the flowers, you can add your favorite flavors. Also many do it by coating the flowers with dry flour, not adding any water to the batter. I shared here my version of recipe.

Shallow fried pumpkin flower fritters