One of my hubby’s fav to have with rice and ghee is this Chalkumro pur bhaja. In Bengali, we call Ashgourd as Chalkumro and kudos to our ancestors who has invented this recipe which has converted a otherwise regular vegetable into a mouth watering delicacy. I learnt this from my Mother In Law (and now you know why is it my hubby’s fav). A little time consuming it is, so I prefer to cook it during week ends.
We prefer our coating thin, hence the batter was to some extent runny, if you like a thick coating, please go ahead and make it your own way. For the stuffing, I have used mustard and poppy seed paste. You may add 2 tbsp of fresh coconut as well to enhance the taste.
Ingredients for Chalkumro pur bhaja
- Mustard – 1 tbsp
- Poppy Seed – 1 tbsp
- Green chilli
- Ash gourd – 1 small( should be young )
- Besan or gram flour – as required
- Rice flour – 2 tbsp
- Oil for frying
- Kalonji seeds – a pinch
- Baking Soda- a pinch
How to make Chalkumro pur bhaja
Wash the ash gourd and pat dry. Now peel it nicely. Cut thick roundels from the ash gourd of atleast 1 inch slice. Then make a slit at the middle in such a way that the slice remains intact at one end.
Wash the mustard and poppy seed and soak it in water for 30 minutes. Then make a paste with one green chilli (optional) and a pinch of salt till it makes a smooth paste. You may add the coconut as well at this stage. Take it in a bowl and mix one spoonful of mustard oil to the mixture.
Boil / Steam the ash gourd slices till they are cooked but not mushy. To make the batter, mix gram flour and rice flour with water, Add salt and whisk thoroughly. Arrange everything when you are ready to serve the fry.
Heat oil in a pan. Add the kalonji seeds and baking soda in the batter and mix. Take one slice of ash gourd, stuff the mustard/poppy seed mixture in the slit carefully.
Immediately roll it in the batter and put carefully in the hot oil. Fry over medium heat till it is brown from both sides. Do it one at a time. At the end of frying, increase a heat to high and flip to get a nice color.
Strain the oil and serve hot. Goes really well with hot rice.