Kankroler Pur Bhaja (stuffed Teasel Gourd)

5:29 AM


There are a few vegetables that I never cared for while growing up and Teasel gourd topped the list. Teasel gourd or Kankrol as it is known is Bengali is a Summer vegetable and available in plenty during summer and monsoon months. For some reason I always thought it suffers from identity crisis. By look it resembled a lot to Bitter gourd but the inside portions looks and tastes like Patol or Pointed gourd. This cambis ball sized vegetable with it's thin green spikes tasted quite bland. I could not even stand when it was cooked in a simple stir fry style with salt and turmeric.



But for some weird reason my son fell in love with this vegetable from the first time he laid his eyes on it. We love to visit our local market for fruits and vegetables as a family and he is accompanying us even before he could say his first word. His love for this vegetable made me look for more recipes out of limited repertoire. Kanroler Pur bhaja is a simple stuffed teasel gourd recipe which is batter dipped and deep fried.

Plenty of versions of the same dish is available on the net but I had to follow my own as throwing out the inner seeds and flesh portion never appealed to me. Throwing out food is never an option with me so I did what my mother and her mother always does while cooking Patoler Dolma (stuffed pointed gourd). Below is my simple version of this recipe which my son relishes with his dal bhat (lentil rice) or even as an evening snack.

Kankroler Pur Bhaja

Ingredients:
Kankrol: 4 (please see notes below)
Onion: 1/2 of a small one
Nigella seeds: 1/3 tsp
Green chilly: 2
Poppy seeds paste: 2 heaped tbps
Mustard paste: 1 heaped tbsp
Oil: 1 tsp
salt

for the batter: 
Rice powder: 2 tbsp
corn flour: 2 tbsp
pinch of salt

Oil for deep frying

Method:
Wash the kankrol under running water. Be careful to wash the dirt stuck between the spikes. Cut them lengthwise. You should have two equal halves, I prefer to keep one half with the stem.

Using a tea spoon scrape the seeds and flesh from the inside of the Gourds. It's very easy and will hardly take any time.

Bring some water to boil with some salt and place the veggies in it. boil for 4-5 minutes. Drain and immediately place them in cold water. Shake off the excess water and keep aside.

For the stuffing, first pound or roughly grind the seeds and inner flesh of the Kankrols with the chillies.
Chop the onion very finely.
Heat 1 tsp oil and add the nigella seeds, once they start to splutter add the onion and saute till they turn soft. Tip in the pounded seeds and chilies. Cook with little salt till the raw smell is gone (approx. 3-4 minutes).
Now add the poppy-seeds paste. Cook till you see oil drops appearing on the sides. Stir continuously or it will burn at the bottom. Next goes the mustard paste which again needs to be cooked till the whole mixture dries out a bit.
Take out and let it cool.

Take a spoonful of this mixture and stuff the boiled halves of the Kankrol. Make sure to fill the whole cavity tightly.

To make the batter just add 3-4 tbsp of water to the corn flour and rice flour mix. make somewhat a thick batter.

Heat white oil till smoking. Pour some batter on the stuffed halves of the gourds to cover the entire surface(both sides). Carefully place in the oil, cut side down. Fry on medium till golden on all sides.

Serve with rice, dal and curries for an elaborate lunch.

A homemaker's Notes:
While choosing Kankrol for this recipe make sure they are not ripe. Check the colour, if it's yellow do not buy it or even it feels soft to the touch that means it's ripe and not good for this recipe.

Choose bigger and longer Kankrols. That way it becomes easier to stuff and fry them.

You can also add scraped coconut to the stuffing. 

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4 comments

  1. Daruuuun....data suddhu concept ta khub bhalo legeche..try korbo akdin

    ReplyDelete
  2. Never heard of Teasel Gourd. That looks delicious!

    ReplyDelete
  3. this looks delicious... beautiful pics...

    ReplyDelete
  4. Never cooked with or tasted teasel gourd - you have made me curious! Really enjoyed your description of its "identity crisis". Will keep a lookout for this vegetable and if I get my hands on it, will come back to your recipe :-)

    ReplyDelete

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