Ghosalyachi Bhaji or Nenua Pakoda is a popular street food/Dhaba recipe that one can find easily as you drive down NH in Maharashtra. It’s a delicious fritter preparation that is soft and juicy inside and crisp and crunchy outside- a unique combination for a fritter. This makes it an amazing dish to be served in monsoons with a cup of steaming hot masala chai.
Food habits are a quirky phenomenon, one that keeps evolving as you grow up. Some choices stick with you as you grow up, dislikes may change into likes and vice-versa, though I must admit I have never had any likes that I have added to my list of dislikes. Sponge Gourd or as it is known in a UP household Nenua, was one veggie I grew up hating to my core. I remember quarrelling with my mother, every time I would see squishy and soft sponge gourd preparation served in my plate. My parents would try and engage me in the discussion enumerating health benefits of eating sponge gourd and why it is beneficial to consume it during summers but to their utter dismay it would fall on deaf ears.
I was as adamant as any teenager who usually views every move of their parents with their eyes filled with suspicion. My mom had come to term with my disliking and as a work around for both of us started to serve me an Omelette (still a favorite) whenever she would make something that I didn’t want to see in my plate. It was a good middle-ground settlement for us. She was saved from my cribbing and I was happy with the Omelette in my plate. This arrangement existed for many years.
Many years later I moved out for my job in a different city and had to learn many new skills along with cooking. I don’t remember it vividly now, but during those years I started eating Sponge Gourd preparation. It could have been out of compulsion in which I had to eat what was served in my Dhabba (tiffin box) by the tiffin service provider, or was it nostalgia that got better of me is hard to tell now. The outcome was sponge gourd had become my favorite and I started liking this sweet and juicy veg preparation.
We have shared another favorite preparation of mine few weeks ago-Nenua Chana Dal. Today’s preparation is actually a quick bite dish that you would like to relish in the monsoons, which are to arrive in couple of weeks. Ghosalyachi Bhaji or Nenua Pakoda is a popular street food/Dhaba recipe that one can find easily as you drive down NH in Maharashtra. It’s a delicious fritter preparation that is soft and juicy inside and crisp and crunchy outside- a unique combination for a fritter. This makes it an amazing dish to be served in monsoons with a cup of steaming hot masala chai.
- 2 Sponge Gourd (250gms)
- 8 Green Chilies
- ¼th Cup Fresh Coriander Leaves
- 1 Cup=125 gms Gram Flour
- Cooking Oil
- Water as needed
- 1 tsp Cumin Seeds
- 1 tsp White Sesame Seeds
- 1 tbsp Semolina (Rava/Suji)
- Wash and Clean Sponge Gourd. Now, we will slice sponge gourd into thin slices. I prefer thin and long slices. You can cut into rounds too. Dip the slices in cold water to prevent its discoloration.
- Keep Sponge Gourd slices aside. Meanwhile, we will grind a thick green masala paste. In a grinder jar, put Cumin Seeds, Green Chilies and Coriander leaves. Grind into a thick paste (do not add water).
- Thick Masala paste is ready. Now we will dry roast gram flour on medium heat. Do not brown it. We need to roast it lightly until it emits a pleasant aroma. After 1 min of roasting on medium heat, take it off the heat
- In a large bowl, put roasted gram flour. Now, put Semolina, White Sesame Seeds, grounded masala paste. Add Salt to taste and 3 tbsp Hot Oil. Mix well with a spoon. Add water. We will now whisk the batter well. Whisk well until we get rid of all the lumps in the batter
- Batter must be of spoon coating consistency. We have used ¾th Cup water. Let this batter rest aside for 10-15 mins.
- Ensure Oil is sufficiently hot. Drop a small portion of batter in Oil. If the batter rises up immediately, then oil is hot enough. If it sinks, then we need to wait for some more time.
- Reduce the heat to medium. Coat Nenua slices with batter and drop it in Oil. Do not fry on high heat. Fry until fritters become evenly brown from both sides. After frying for couple of mins, remove it from the Pan.
- Similarly, fry all the fritters.
- Nenua Pakoda-Ghosalyachi Bhaji is ready. Let's serve it. Nenua Pakoda-Ghosalyachi Bhaji tastes delicious with Red Chili Chutney. Enjoy these fritters this Monsoons
- a) Roasting of Gram flour imparts a depth of flavors and aroma. Remember to toast Gram flour next time when you make fritters.
- b) Whisking makes the batter light and fritters will be fluffy
Click to watch recipe video