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 ?