This is a Bengali recipe of stuffed kantola fritters or pakodas. Few days ago I came to know this recipe from a dear friend Tanushree Bhowmik and I decided to give it a try. These are actually supposed to be fried in mustard oil but I had to substitute it with normal cooking oil as we don't get mustard oil in Brazil. I am sure the mustard oil must be giving a better flavour and colour to the pakodas....nevertheless we still enjoyed them.
Kantola / teasel gourd ... 6 (or as needed)
Gram flour / besan ......... 1 cup
Rice flour ....................... 2 tbsps
Poppy seeds ... 2 tbsps
Green chillies . 1
Mustard seeds .. 1 tsp
Dessicated coconut .. 1 tbsp
Cream or yogurt ..... 1 tbsp
Sugar ............... 1/4 tsp
Turmeric powder ... 1/4 tsp
Salt .............. to taste
Baking powder .. a pinch
Carom seeds / ajwain .. 1/2 tsp
Oil ............ to fry
1. Wash the teasel gourds and scrape the outer skin.
2. Cut them into half length wise.
3. Steam them for 10 -12 minutes. Let them cool.
4. Scoop out the middle seed portion with a spoon. Do not discard it as it will be used in the stuffing.
5. Grind the poppy seeds, mustard seeds, green chilli and dessicated coconut to a smooth paste using a little water.
6. Heat a little oil in a small pan and saute the ground paste,scooped out portion of the gourd adding the cream or yogurt and a little salt.
7. Stuff the steamed gourd halves with this mixture. Set aside.
8. In a bowl mix the gram flour, rice flour, turmeric powder, baking powder, carom seeds and salt. Make a thick batter adding water carefully as needed.
9. Heat oil for deep frying. Coat the gourds with the prepared batter and fry them to a golden brown colour.
These can be served as a snack on its own or with dal.
Recipe courtesy - Tanushree Bhowmik
If you have never come across this vegetable here is a picture to show you how it looks.