Padwal fritters – Pathare Prabhu style Fried Snake Gourd Snack


I love my seafood and non vegetarian food. Yet, there are those few days, when Pathare Prabhu households turn vegetarian. Every Monday, each Chaturthi of the Hindu month, Navratri, Ganpati and a few days of Shravan are such occasions when even the most hardcore carnivores in our clan go cold turkey with non vegetarian food, albeit temporarily!

It’s funny how these mandatory vegetarian meals are prepared with elaborate attempts to make them resemble non vegetarian ingredients. For instance, typically on Ganesh Chaturthi, Parbhu households will cook ‘suran’ aka yam in a curry and try to make it as close to mutton godé as possible.

This recipe I’m sharing is usually reserved for a vegetarian Monday and is supposed to be a clever alternative to fried ‘karandi’ (small prawns)

Ingredients 

Padwal (Snake Gourd) – peel the exterior and slit in two halves lengthwise – discard all the inner fibrous bits and chop into ½ cm pieces.


Salt to taste

Haldi, Red chilli powder, Prabhu Sambhar (or any garam masala) to suit your appetite for heat.

Rice flour for dusting

Oil to deep fry

Method

Heat oil in a kadai over a medium flame – if your oil reaches smoking point, the gourd will burn and turn bitter. If it isn’t hot enough, this will absorb a lot of oil and again ruin the dish. The perfect ambient temperature is key!

Add salt to the slit padwal and let it rest a minute. Drain off any excess water that seeps out. However, do this step only last minute – if you leave the salt on for too long, the gourd will lose a lot of moisture and again, the texture’s ruined.

Add the powdered masalas and mix well till all the gourd bits are coated. Next, quickly dredge these in a plate of dry rice flour.


This is what the ready to fry gourds will look like.

Next, dunk these into hot oil and deep fry for around 4-5 minutes over a medium flame.


Once done, drain off any excess oil over tissues.

Serve immediately with a hot mound of ambemohar rice, plain yellow varan and a generous dollop of homemade lonkadhi tuup! 

Also makes an interesting vegetarian snack for a party. Goes really well with a drink.

The Rambling Gourmet

I’m a self-confessed foodie juggling between my passion for food, cooking, all things culinary and my fulltime job! This blog is an attempt to chronicle my culinary experiments and thoughts around food.

I belong to an ingenious clan of Maharashtrians called the ‘Pathare Prabhus’.

The PP (Pathare Prabhu) community – native to Mumbai has a unique culinary tradition, which is quite unlike most Maharashtrian cooking. Unfortunately given the slowly diminishing number of PPs and our hectic urban lifestyles, this unique cuisine is growing rarer by the day.

My weekend experiments in the kitchen are not so surprisingly very heavily influenced by my PP roots and my 3 year stint at catering college (after which I competely digressed into financial services) many many years ago which triggered my interest in cooking and gave me a little understanding of cooking techniques.

I like to believe I’m fairly open to new tastes and attempt eating most things edible (although I draw a line at the squiggly wigglies on Bangkok streets).

I aspire to document whatever I know of our PP cuisine in addition to my clumsy attempts in my home kitchen.  I’m hope this space helps me to connect with like minded foodies and helps me along my culinary journey!