Monsoon is here, its wet and damp and soggy, and we are confined to the house …and you know how it is that the rain always makes us Indians pine for pakodas (fritters)..I thought I would do something different with my pakodas today, especially as the pumpkin plant in our kitchen garden is in bloom. So I made stuffed Kumdo Phool (Pumpkin flower) fritters. Although this is a typically Bengali dish , I think the Greeks also have a somewhat similar take on this with the flower stuffed with cheese. My ingredients , though couldn’t be more traditional.
Pumpkin Flowers ( stamen removed and washed) – 6 nos
Coconut grated 2 tbsp
White Poppy seeds 2tbsp
Black/white mustard seeds 1 tsp
Green chilli de-seeded 1-2 nos
Bengal Gram Flour 100 gms
Garlic paste ¼ tsp
Kalo Jeera (Nigella seeds) 1 pinch
Salt to taste
Pinch turmeric powder
Pinch baking soda
Oil for frying
To begin, wash and clean the flowers, remove the stamen and the sepals. Try to keep the flower whole. You may leave the stem attached. Soak the poppy seeds in warm water for ten minutes then combine with mustard ,coconut and chillies then grind to a thick paste . You can use a mortar and pestle . Just take care that the mix is not runny or watery. It should be rather thick. Add salt and then stuff the flowers with this mix, folding the petals over each other to form a parcel of sorts. Next prepare the fritter batter by mixing together gram flour, garlic paste, nigella seeds, baking soda , turmeric and salt and water to make a thick batter. Heat oil in pan to smoking point then turn down heat. Dip each plump stuffed flower in the batter and deep fry till it turns golden brown. Eat hot with chutney of your choice or with a steaming dish of Kichdi
I hope you will definitely make this and share in our taste of monsoon.