Thursday, 13 December 2012

Pumpkin Flower Fritters




My father-in-law goes out for his walk every morning. He always has a few anecdotes to relate to us while we are having breakfast. Sometimes it is the old fellow who sells vegetables or the contentious lady in the park. Some days he will visit the ‘Safal’ vegetable outlet on the way home and make purchases. He will then show me the fresh leafy vegetables or green beans or chillies which he had picked out with utmost care. “Only the best of the lot,” he would tell me with pride.


One morning, I entered the kitchen to find a bunch of beautiful pumpkin flowers on the kitchen slab. As a child, I used to think that only the Assamese community had these flowers for food. I realize now that the food habits of mankind around the world are not so dissimilar after all. Besides us and the Bengali community, people from as far as Italy and Turkey have been consuming these flowers since ages. 

 Courtesy: Google images (I forgot to click the flowers!)


I was glad to see the pumpkin flowers since we had not come across any of them in Bangalore. I don’t think South Indian cuisine includes pumpkin flowers prominently. But then I may be wrong. In fact, I do recall vaguely some Kerala recipe involving the flowers.  Anyway, it had been ages since we had tasted them and I could not thank my father-in-law enough. It seems he would always pass by a patch where there were pumpkin vines with flowers growing wild but thought he would look like a thief if he flicked a few of the flowers. That day, he had gathered up courage and quickly plucked the flowers before walking briskly off the scene of ‘crime’. And now the loot was ours to enjoy!


Although the flowers can be cooked in a variety of ways, I have only tasted them as fritters. They can be treated as a side dish to a meal of rice and vegetables or as appetizers or even tea-time snacks. It hardly takes any time or ingredients to prepare these tasty fritters. Hence, I will also not take much time in giving away the recipe. I am giving rough estimates of the amount of ingredients here as it all depends upon your own measurements; how thick or thin you want the batter to be.


Pumpkin Flower Fritters




Ingredients:


6 pumpkin flowers

1 cup besan (Gram flour)

½ teaspoon turmeric powder

½ teaspoon red chilli powder (optional)

Salt to taste

Water

Refined oil for frying


Method:


Wash the flowers carefully so that no grit or dirt remains. Keep aside.


Make a batter by mixing all the above ingredients, except oil. You can decide on the amount of water to be added in case the batter looks too thin or too thick. The batter has to be of ‘medium’ consistency – neither thick nor thin.


Dip the flowers, one by one, into the batter and deep fry them in kadai or wok. Flip them once one side is done and fry the other side till golden brown. Take care not to burn the fritters as they are very delicate. Remove and place them on paper napkins to absorb the excess oil. There, they are ready to munch away!




I had prepared rice and mattar mushroom (peas and mushroom curry) that day and these fritters were perfect accompaniments. We enjoyed the meal a lot and I wish you would do the same, too. Please feel free to add your own ingredients to the batter. And you will let me know about the recipe, won’t you?


2 comments:

  1. Hi Sangeeta,
    I can relate how ur FIL must have felt while plucking those , I can really relate to the thought as many a times not exactly for pumpkin blossoms but for madhabilata a kind of a blossom on a creeper. There is a house which has a lot of these blossoms and many a times I thought of picking a few on way home but stopped. Finally one day after checking no one was looking grabbed a few :) and the thrill of the loot was awesome. Nice narrative and yummy looking fritters. By the way from where in Assam do u belong?

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    1. So, you also enjoyed your loot...hahaah!! What can we do, the food/flowers that we used to love back home, grow as wild creepers here. I am from Guwahati and my husband is from Tinsukia, so now I belong to two cities in Assam!

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