Fried Pumpkin Blossoms/ Kumro Phool Bhaja

Pumpkin blossoms or kumro phool fried in a semi- thin batter is crunchy, light and moreish. My Mum used to make these delicious fritters or bhaja during the summer months when we were growing up in India. The delicate pumpkin flowers with the thin batter has hints of nigella and the nutty flavor of the poppy seeds (‘posto’ or khuskhus is a very popular ingredient used in Bengali cooking). It simply tastes divine.

My vegetable patch is yielding pretty good pumpkin flowers this year. I do not know if I’ll get any pumpkin just yet, but there is definitely some pumpkin greens and blossoms to harvest. Also, the feeling of just going to my vegetable patch and plucking the flowers to make this dish makes them extra special.

PREP TIME: 2 mins

COOK TIME: 5 mins

YIELDS: 3

Ingredients

  • Pumpkin blossoms a handful
  • Chick pea flour (besan) 6 tbsp
  • Rice flour 3 tbsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Sugar 1 tsp
  • Baking soda 1 tsp
  • Red chili powder 1 tsp
  • Turmeric 1 tsp
  • Poppy seeds (posto1 tbsp
  • Nigella seeds (kalonji) 1 tsp
  • Oil for frying

Method

  • Wash the pumpkin blossoms gently. Discard the stems and the stigma. Keep aside.
  • In a bowl combine all the above ingredients except the pumpkin blossoms. Mix. Add cold water to make a batter. The batter should not be too thick or thin. It should coat the blossoms with a thin layer.
  • Heat oil to high. Reduce the flame to medium. Dip each pumpkin blossom into the batter, and gently release into the hot oil. Fry both sides till golden on a medium flame. Drain on kitchen towels. Do not crowd the pan. Fry 4-5 at a time.
  • Repeat for the rest. Serve immediately.

Notes

While this is served as a Bengali meal with Dal and bhaat (rice) honestly, this is so delicious I just serve it as a snack or an appetizer.

The nigella seeds and khuskhus or poppy seeds apart from imparting flavor have a medicinal function too. Since this is a fried dish, they both aid in digestion.

Pumpkin greens
Pumpkin blossoms
Harvesting the blossoms
The batter ingredients
Gently dip each blossom into the batter
Release into the oil
Fry both sides till golden
Fried Pumpkin Blossoms are ready
Closeup
Another view

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