Cuisine is a testament to our evolution. It has gone through a continuous churning process wherein a new dish becomes part of a culture, an alteration has been made to some traditional recipes and some old recipes fade away from our memories. This fundamental point also applies to cuisines in India. If you must have observed, I have referred to “cuisines in India” and not “Indian cuisine”. Cuisine in India is a perfect example of the basic fabric that describes our country “unity in diversity”.
The diversity in our country is deeply percolated in every aspects of our life. We can witness the extent of this diversity when one travels across the country. Every 10-20 km, one can be witness to different language, dialect, music, attire and this diversity also reflects in food. Every state in India boasts of many such exquisite recipes and amalgamation of all these dishes form that states cuisine. So we have cuisines from Punjab, Maharashtra, Bengal, Kerala, UP, Bihar and all other states but not one Indian cuisine. It is almost impossible for anybody to claim that they know all about Indian cuisine.
Each of our state cuisine is replete with numerous recipes, some of which are well known and one would find them easily in any restaurant. However some of the recipes are those that are only made in our home kitchens and are only known to select few from our families and within this fast changing world, there is great possibility that these recipes would vanish away. This reminds me of a quote by Jean-Luc Abelin (Knowledge manager at Lafarge), “Everything that is not shared is lost”.
My mom made many such recipes and me and my sister, as nasty kids, would gorge upon them with fervor. I used to observe my Mom keenly when she would make these preparations and they remain etched in my memory till now. There were some recipes that were made only in a particular season. I remember every rainy season; she would make bottle-gourd fritters “Lauki ka katra”. She would fry first batch and hand them over to us asking us to do quick taste check. In-fact she does this even now, whenever she makes such recipes. On Sundays she would make these fritters and serve them hot with tamarind chutney and some hot tea that would make that moment more complete and if it rained on such days, it would be a perfect blissful morning breakfast that one often yearns for. Sometimes I would gorge upon these fritters keeping them between two bread slices. After marriage, I have gradually transitioned all these recipes to Missus, so that whenever it rains and I am struck with bout of nostalgia, I can wheedle her into making these fritters for me.
This is a very simple recipe that does not involves much preparation beforehand and is perfect for those times when you crave for something hot, crispy and yummy and need something instantaneously. A spicy green masala paste involving cilantro, green chilies, cumin seeds and garlic is added to the besan (gram flour) batter which makes these fritters zesty. The only tough part involved in this recipe is whisking the batter. We must ensure that batter is whisked nicely for 10-12 mins. This will make the coating on final product more fluffy and crispy.
- 150 grams gram flour (besan)
- 300 grams bottle gourd washed and peeled.Cut them into thin rounds
- 1 tbsp cumin seeds
- 10-12 garlic cloves
- 1 cup fresh coriander leaves/cilantro
- 4 long green chilies(medium spicy)
- ½ tsp turmeric powder
- ¼ tsp black pepper powder
- A pinch of cooking soda
- Cooking Oil
- Blend coriander leaves, green chilies, garlic and cumin seeds into a fine and thick paste.
- Consistency of masala should be fine and thick.
- In a large bowl, take gram flour.
- Add turmeric powder, black pepper powder. Add 1tbsp cooking oil.Add green masala paste.
- Add Salt as per taste. Mix all the ingredients of batter nicely.
- Add water and whisk to form batter. More we whisk, the coating on fritters will become fluffy.
- Whisk for 10-12 mins. Batter should be of spoon (back of the spoon) coating consistency.
- Finally add cooking soda and mix well.
- Heat oil in a pan for deep frying.
- Coat the bottle gourd rounds with the batter and drop them gently in hot oil.
- Fry the fritters until they turn golden brown.
- When fritters become fluffy and golden brown , remove them from oil.
- Fry them in batches.
- Enjoy Lauki ka katra with steaming hot tea.
Make Lauki ka katra for your family on Sunday mornings and do not forget to make some hot tea to accompany with the fritters. Share your feedback about the recipe with us in the comment section below.
Check out some other Snacks recipes
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