Gram flour or besan fritter in mustard and poppy sauce - "Beshoner bodar jhal shorshe posto diye".


My hubby was away on an official trip to Los Angeles for a good one week and I was extremely busy exploring the blogging world and designing, naming/renaming, playing with various templates. frantically searching for logos et al. I was enthusiastically devoted to the whole process and completely smitten by its whole presence. It was vast, intense, so overpowering and it completely swept me into a new world. As a result, I signed off on traditional Indian cooking, survived those few days merely on quick home-made sandwiches and quick fixes. Totally lost the sense of time, didn't know the particular day and date of the month. Yes, blogging can be very addictive to someone who loves to write, cook/bake and photograph. As a result of this recent helluva schedule of mine and skipping regular Indian food I badly craved for some traditional, untroublesome & savory meal.  The simple thought of it cheered me up!


I quickly decided on some crispy gram flour/besan fritter gravy dipped in mustard and poppy sauce. This is a traditional Bengali recipe (from India) that my grandma used to cook and my mom still cooks. It's simple, easy and very tasty. This particular recipe gave a much-desired break from the regular fish menus back at home and it was always prepared in an iron vessel (Kadhai). The recipe back home constituted only mustard paste that was meticulously ground on a stone grinder aka "Sheel Noda" as we call it. Here I thought of experimenting and bringing in my own flavor to the already existing recipe, I added an equal amount of poppy seed paste along with the mustard paste. This audacious step definitely added so much more taste and texture to the saucy gravy, yes it was one of my various culinary experiments and I am elated to state that it's a huge success! Here, in this recipe, I shallow fried my fritters and used minimal mustard oil but you can also deep fry them.


Gram flour or besan is a very versatile ingredient in almost every Indian household. It's made from Bengal gram and it is extensively used to make various kinds of fritters and in several other recipes. This particular "Beshoner bodar jhal with shorshey posto" goes very well with steaming hot plain rice. The hearty combination of poppy and mustard complements each other and goes very well hand in hand in a myriad of Bengali dishes. So dive right into the recipe make it for your family and enjoy it with some plain rice. I am quite sure you will be happily satisfied. Oh! Yes, one more thing I don't treat my kitchen as a lab except when I am baking and I trust my instincts to prepare a particular dish. So. it will all begin and end in the eye-balling game. Hope, you enjoy it! So, go wild, trust your instincts and adapt the recipe according to your own preferable taste.


RECIPE FROM MY GRANDMA'S COOKBOOK ADAPTED BY ME:

INGREDIENTS:


Gram flour or besan ( should make a dozen flat fritters as shown in the above picture).
2 heaped tbsp of poppy seeds paste.
2 tbsp of mustard seeds paste.
1/2 medium onion sliced.
1 medium tomato chopped.
Mustard oil.
Salt.
5 green chilies or according to taste
Turmeric powder.
Water.

LET'S SEE HOW I MADE THE GRAM FLOUR OR BESAN FRITTERS:

* Whisk together a pinch of turmeric powder, salt ( according to taste ), gram flour or besan in a bowl.
* Pour water and form a smooth lump free batter. Not so runny and not so firm. The consistency should be just in between runny and firm. Something like an idli batter
.* Heat mustard oil on your preferable vessel and gently pour one tbsp batter into the oil. Fry them slowly over medium heat.
* When both sides are uniformly done gently remove your fritters from the hot oil on a plate.

FOR THE GRAVY:

* Heat about two tablespoons of mustard oil on your preferable pan or kadhai.
* When it becomes hot gently release the sliced onions in the oil.
* Stir-fry until translucent.
* Next add the chopped tomatoes and slit green chilies and fry for 2-3 minutes until a bit mushy.
* Now add the poppy seed paste. Fry for a few minutes until the raw smell of poppy seed paste disappears.
* Dilute the mustard seed paste with some water and add to the mixture.
* Don't fry, just mix and immediately pour hot water.
* Cover and cook for 10 minutes.
* Add the fritters in the gravy, cover and cook for 3-4 mins.
* Switch off the fire, pour mustard oil according to your taste on the gravy and keep it covered until served.
* You may garnish it with fresh coriander leaves.
* Enjoy!

TIPS:

* Never fry mustard paste, it will make the gravy bitter. It's better to always dilute with little water and than pour it in the gravy.
* Never make a silky poppy seeds paste, a grainy paste always taste better.
* Grind the mustard to a smooth paste, the more smooth the better.
* No ready-made bottled mustard paste bought from your regular supermarket, please.
* It's wise to add the fritter in the gravy and simmer just before serving otherwise the gravy is going to be soaked up by the fritters and you will end up with inflated and soggy fritters and no gravy at all.

PLEASE NOTE:

The mustard paste and the poppy seed paste as shown in one of the pictures in my blog post were made for this gravy + some other gravies, thus a huge quantity.




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