Tuesday, July 07, 2009

D's Squash Blossoms and Designer Fulkopi Bhaja


It was only last week that I was cursing the guy for starting his seeds late and now see what he has. His squash plants have blossomed and there are pretty yellow flowers all around. Didn't I say he was D best. Ok I never did, so what !!!

A couple of years back we used to have a tiny pumpkin patch which never gave us any fruit but we were only too happy with the blossoms and the leaves and stems(kumro da(n)ta). The stems and leaves were put to best use if either set of parents were here. I usually don't have too much patience to chop the stems and leaves and make a da(n)ta charchari so this time there is no pumpkin but the two lone squash plants have made us happy.

However we didn't get the timing right to harvest the blossoms. One day all happy with the blooms, I clicked pics and by next day the bloom had closed.

"Harvesting squash blossoms requires careful timing. You want them before they bloom, though sometimes it’s tough to distinguish between a bloom that opened and closed, and one that has yet to open."

Squash have male and female blossoms on the same plant (monoecious). The blossoms of both sexes are open and fertile only during the morning hours of one day. During this time pollen must be transferred by bees or by a person. The male blossom may open a second day, but the pollen will no longer be fertile and the blossom will close, wilt and drop from the plant that day or the next. See what ego these male blossoms have ? The females are no less, they make those guys wait like anything . There may be 3 to 4 male blossoms opening for several days to a week before the first female blossoms open.

Plants are such a miracle of nature and there are so many things you wouldn't know unless you see them happening right there in your backyard. Like the other day I saw my methi plants close their leaves and go to sleep at night. They opened up once again at dawn. Has anyone noticed that or can I just say I "discovered" the phenomenon.

So anyway we had only closed blooms to fry and that too only four(the male flowers) of them. Once you have those blossoms, remember to gingerly pull out the stamen before you cook, since the stamen makes it bitter. D made the squash blossom fries and since he does NOT measure, this is how it goes.




To make a squash blossom fry, make a batter with chickpea flour(besan), little rice flour, salt and red chili powder. The batter would have the same consistency of a pakoda batter. Dip and nicely coat the blossoms in the batter. Deep fry in hot oil till brown and crispy

Last weekend after a long time, read really long time we were at Whole Foods. So of course we had to eat at their salad bar and there I had something which was exactly like our very own Bengali Fulkopi Bhaja but with some more Indian spices.

Back home I had one medium cauliflower chopped in medium sized florets and put away neatly packed in the veggie drawer. I wanted to make a Fulkopi Bhaja but with some spices and so this was the Designer Cauliflower Fry or Fulkopi Bhaja. Instead of frying it on stove top I finished it in the oven


Heat Olive Oil in a Frying Pan. Add some chopped red onion and fry till light brown in color. Add some ground corriander powder, fennel powder, very little garam masala powder, paprika and a little red chili powder. Fry the masala with a sprinkle of water. Add the cauliflower florets. Add salt to taste and mix well with the masala. After frying the cauliflower for a couple of minutes transfer the entire content to an oven safe bowl or tray and bake at 350 F for 30-35 minutes. The cauliflower will be done and lightly crisped at the end of the process.
Sprinkle a generous helping of sumac on the beautifully roasted florets and enjoy.

I am sending the Squash Blossoms off to WHB #191 hosted by Cheryl from Gluten Free Goodness. This event was started by Kalyn of Kalyn's Kitchen and now has a new home at Cook Almost Anything at Least Once

More blossom goodness from Ahaar and Grow, Cook, Eat

What delight did you grow to eat today ?


  1. The gulmohar trees and the 'touch-me-not' also close their leaves at night. I really wish I had even a wee bit of space to grow something. Nijer gaacher kumro phuler bhaja khawar nischoi ekta alada moja ache, tai na? :-)

  2. OMG its an absolutely creative dish. Looks very interesting. :)

  3. from garden to plate eh? the best way to enjoy vegetables..

  4. I really love squash blossoms - you should try them filled and then fired a perfect meal!

  5. I adore squash blossoms, haven't had them for ages.

  6. wowwww....remembering of old days when we use to go to our grandpa's house at and my mother use to prepare this...I love it...looks too tempting..

  7. I last ate these so long back, your post brought back some very fond memories. :)

  8. Fried squash blossoms are new to me! must a try for me!

  9. Just stumbled upon your blog..great recipes and lovely pics too.
    thanks for sharing.

  10. Wow thats my fav too.. when i buy flowers in the farmers market sure i do this .. every one loves it.. so feel like grabbing it from the screen.

  11. the other thing that the methi leaves (and most others) do is follow the angle of the sun all through the day, and I sometimes move the pota around just to watch them re-orient themselves :)) I need to get a squash plant atleast to try the blossoms, and sooo much work to get the squashes?!

  12. Ooh those fried blossoms almost looks like chicken lollies or even fried lamb chops.. yum... Okay, I have no idea what squash blossoms taste like, so i am imagining meat and drooling, but I am sure those were yummy too :D

  13. You have again sent me back to my childhood. One of my Aunts (Jethima) had a Kumro plant in her backyard. Whenever it flowered, she sent half of them to us alongwith the paata and daatas. Then we had a feast of Kumro phool bhaja, Kumro paata bhaja and Daata charchari.

    Maa prepared the phool bhaja just as you mentioned, but the paata bhaja was more elaborate. She first filled the paata partially with a coconut and mustard filling and then wrapping them, dipped in rice flour paste and fried them.

    My sister and I had a fight over who will have maximum nos. of bhaajas. Awesome!!!!

  14. Aamar Didu used to make kumror phool fried in byashon...I used the love the way the flower would melt in the crip batter. Take care and make your Dida proud by making her favourite dish, Kalyan

  15. The blossoms were used to decorate our kolams during the winter months. Have never eaten them. The fry looks very inviting. How would it taste if chopped and added to a salad ? And I love the plate of crispy spicy cauliflower florets!

  16. Sharmila

    Didn't know about the Gulmohar. Why dont you plant some herbs in pots, they will work wonderfully on the balcony or even on a window sill.
    I love plants and since summer is a short time for us here, I go ga-ga over plants :) Khete hoyto eki hobey, tobey nijer gache e ful holo, seta tul lam tar anindo ta alada


    Thanks, it is actually a very common dish in a Bengali kitchen


    Garden -- to --tummy is best :D


    I didn't know about the stuffed ones until I started googling. Would love to have something like that


    Come over :)




    You don't get these in India ?


    You know it is like a bhajia




    Aren't they yumm, have you tried the stuffed ones as Meeta said

    We are really wondering if we will get squashes at all


    Ok, no not like meat at all. Now you are making me drool thinking of ch. lollies ;-) It is more like a pakori, bhajia kind of taste


    That paata bhaja sounds great, have never had it. I don't know if we can eat leaves of squash plant but maybe I can stuff the flowers like your Mom.




    Come on just fry them girl :D The cauliflowers were really great, easy-peasy-tasty


    Thank U :)

  17. I actually have some squash blossoms in my terrace garden now..am so tempted to say forget the dieting and just enjoy the bhajjas :)I also have pudina tulsi lemon grass and curry patta.Sheer joy to pluck and use some fresh from the garden.Must try thr data bhaja n chorchodi too.are the recipes here on the blog?

  18. Who knew you could eat the blossoms too?! ANd in a fry? Yummo!! The gobi bhaji sounds and looks great!

  19. god i love deep fried food...and i have never eaten squahs blossoms..they always seemed a lot of work to me..you know stuffing them and all...urs looks like a easy gal's dream. And do not talk about Whole Foods..i miss it man...i am not going to carry bags of groceries via subway...i am not that dedicated yet :D ( i do it for indian tho...)

  20. Who knew that one could deep fry the squash blossoms? This reminds me that my mom used to do something with those blossoms, I will check with her this week.

    I never knew that about the methi plants. It sounds very sweet :-)

  21. wow, kumro phul bhaja aar tao abar nijer baganer in US...hats off to you both...kotodin khaini kumro phul bhaja..amar favorite

  22. I have been thinking about squash blossoms too -- I'm glad you planted some because I haven't. It's been too cold and rainy. I may put a few seeds this weekend after all, just to have a few blossoms.

    Cauliflower fry is so good -- I do something similar with a huge shortcut of kitchen king ;) Not near as tasty as yours!

  23. Wow! I never have heard of this bhajia! looks very tempting - why dont you send this in for Grow Your Own?


  24. Really remembering of childhood days....agree with Sharmiladi "Nijer gaacher kumro phuler bhaja khawar majai alada"...forgot when i last had phool bhaja and chochori

  25. Looks delicious!I'd love to guide our readers to your site if you won't mind.Just add your choice of foodista widget to this post and it's all set to go, Thanks!

  26. Grandmoms are always super-special. So sorry for your loss, San. Hugs to you, my friend!

  27. Sandeepa,
    I came to comment on your squash Blossoms and saw your post. Really sorry and our thoughts are with you and your family.


  28. Sandeepa...i know you closed the comments on ur post....but i wanted to say..I am sorry for your loss..take care....

  29. hi Sandeepa,
    This post sure was a visual treat and really interesting!! the squash blossom fry!!! wow!hadn't heard of it before, seems delicate delicacy :) I too have seen a couple of varities of trees and plants closing their leaves at night :) it looks so beautiful ...my Amma used to tell me we should'nt touch/disturb the plants after 6 pm coz they sleep :)
    Thant was a lovely post as always Sandeepa. I read through some posts which I had missed earlier...
    God Bless!!

  30. I just discovered ur blog by chance and am very happy about it... I am a Bengali but my husband is a keralite... so we always have variety of north and south indian dishes at home... specially staying somewhere with almost no bengali food joint I am forced to make stuffs at home.. my all time recipe encyclopedia is my mom.. specially this post about kumro fuler bhaja made me nostalgic...I had forgotten about this dish totally..would love to try out.. but I am still so new to these translated vege stuffs so never guessed that squash blossoms will be same as kumro ful... will definitely try some time... back home my dad used to get it from the "bajar" when ever he saw it.. I don't have any place here to grow stuffs..but may ask my co-worker to get some from his garden. Are the male flowers only edidle?? I dont have any idea.. thanks for posting such nice stuffs.. I specaially enjoi the writing part of urs.. keep up the good work..

  31. hehehe. My Bhai came home one day and with an armfull of kumro phul. And asked my mom to fry them for him. She peeled over in laughter, cos we had never liked them as kids. My brother was so happy...I think he ate all of them.

  32. This is a wonderful blog n u write beautifully bong mom.. i loved this 'kumro ful bhaja' since my childhood . fulkopi bhaja is aweesome but i just add a bit of raw poppy seeds (posto ) and it tastes heavenly .. my hubby can eat a plateful of rice only with that :D ..my son doesnt like much though , he hates texture ..(i wonder what food he likes)..lol ..


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