Monday, March 6, 2017

Bok Phool Bhaja

During the brief period between the end of winter and the beginning of summer , you will see this typical white flower being sold in the vegetable market of Kolkata. They are called “Bok Phool”. In Bengali Bok means crane and the flower had earned its name owing to its odd similarity with the physical features of a crane.

how to make Bok Phool Bhaja recipe and preparation with step by step pictures

The flower is milky white in colour and its curvy shape instantly reminds us of this beautiful bird. We Bengalis take pleasure in making fritters with flowers. We eat pumpkin flower and Sojne Phool. Bok Phool is just another addition to this list. It simple, easy and gets ready within a jiffy. You can eat bok phool as a snack with tea or puffed rice / muri or in meal as a pakora with dal and rice or khichri.

how to make Bok Phool Bhaja recipe and preparation with step by step pictures

how to make Bok Phool Bhaja recipe and preparation with step by step pictures
  •  Prepare the flower by removing the filament which is inside the flower hidden by the petals.

how to make Bok Phool Bhaja recipe and preparation with step by step pictures
  •  Create a batter of medium thick consisyency by mixing the besan/gram flower, all purpose flower and rice flower with water. Whip it with hand or wire whisk until it becomes smooth and airy like medium stiff whipped cream. Add salt, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, nigella seeds and smoked mustard oil.

how to make Bok Phool Bhaja recipe and preparation with step by step pictures
  • Dip a flower in the batter and make sure that the bok phool / flower is nicely coated with it.

how to make Bok Phool Bhaja recipe and preparation with step by step pictures
  • Fry in medium hot oil.

how to make Bok Phool Bhaja recipe and preparation with step by step pictures

how to make Bok Phool Bhaja recipe and preparation with step by step pictures

how to make Bok Phool Bhaja recipe and preparation with step by step pictures

how to make Bok Phool Bhaja recipe and preparation with step by step pictures
  • When the fritter is firm but has not become crispy take it out of the oil. Fry it for the second time until they turn golden brown just before serving to make it extra crispy and crunchy.

Bok Phool Bhaja
Makes 12

Ingredients:
12 bok phool
½ cup besan / gram flour
¼ cup all purpose flour
1 tbsp rice flour
1 tsp turmeric powder
¼ tsp red chilli powder
½ tsp nigella seeds
1 tbsp pure virgin mustard oil
Salt
Enough oil to deep fry

Method:
First, you need to clean the filament of the flowers which produces pollen. To remove this you need to look inside the flower by moving the petals aside. Hold the filament from the root and gently break it. Keep the clean flower aside and follow this same process for the rest of the flowers.
Take these flowers in a colander or plastic basket and hold it under slow running water for a minute. Gently rub away any dirt from the petals of the bok phool. Then keep them aside.
Prepare the batter by taking the besan/gram flour, all-purpose flour and rice flour in a big bowl. Add enough water make a batter that has a medium thick consistency.
Make sure there is no lump.
Then start whisking it with your hand or a wire whisk until you see the consistency turning into the consistency of medium stiff whipping cream. When poured from a height it will fall like a ribbon.
Mix in the salt, nigella seeds, turmeric powder and red chilli powder.
Take a ladle and pour the mustard oil in it.
Hold it over medium flame and wait until the oil becomes smoking hot.
When you see the smoke coming from the oil, switch off the flame and pour this oil into the batter.
Mix in and your batter is ready.
Take enough oil to deep fry in a small kadai and place it on low to medium flame.
When the oil is medium-hot temperature take a flower, dip it into the batter so that it is nicely coated with it and release it into the hot oil.
You can fry 3-4 flowers at a time according to the side of your kadai. Just do not crowd them.
Once the batter becomes firm, flip them to cook the top side.
Take them out of the kadai when the fritters are all fried but not yet crispy.
Keep them separately in a place and fry again until golden brown just before serving.
This double frying method makes the fritters crispy and crunchy.

Serve with a cup of tea as a snack or as a starter with dal and rice or khichdi.

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