Friday, January 8, 2010

Parval Fritters (Parval Phodi or Ghointaa Phodi)

I recently found Parval at the local market. My joy knew no bounds. We also call it as Ghointaa in Konkani and Pointed Gourd in English. For some reasons amusing, I prefer to call them Parval. This is a very tasty vegatable and many a dishes can be made out of it. These gourd when store bought should be firm and well seeded. Care should be taken while frying them since the seeds have a tendency to burst and sometimes the oil can spurt and cause injury as well.

I enjoy them deep fried dipped in rice and red chilli batter. We address it as Parvala Phodi or Ghointaa Phodi. They become crisp and are extremely tasty. We make Parval Fritters in during important festivals like Ganesh Chaturthi etc. I rarely find Parval here so when I get them, I just grab them and get greedy to try out simple variations. We also make Parval Saasam, wherein Parval tit-bits and deep fried in oil and added in red chilli-grated coconut paste and mustard seeds. The combination is an awesome treat with warm rice.

There are other combinations of Parval available which are stir fried mixed with Potatoes which I believe find a prominent place in Bengali cuisines. In Bengali, they are known as Potol and Aloo-Potol is a regularly made dish amongst many a Bengali friends of mine.

Serves: 2-3 individuals
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes

Parval (sliced into thin slices of 3-4 mm each) - 8-15 pieces
Salt - as per taste
Vegetable Oil - for frying

For Batter:
Rice (pre-soaked) -1 Cup
Red Chillies - 6-10
Asafoetida - 1/10 teaspoon
Water - For accomodating grinding consistency

Pre-soak washed rice in water for 5-6 hours. Grind it to a batter after draining water along with red chillies and asafoetida, salt and very less water.
Peel off the skin of Parval. They render a rather odd and chewy flavour if retained on the vegetable. Apply salt to slices/ pieces and set aside for 1/2 hour. Heat oil in a deep dish pan. Once oil heats up (should not be smoking hot as fries would burn) dip the pieces in batter and deep fry. Serve hot as a side dish.

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