My mother makes these amazing pumpkin blossoms very regularly. I have been eating it for years but never asked her the recipe, until very recently. It is really simple to make and delicious to eat, like so many of our moms’ dishes.
I found the pumpkin flowers growing in our backyard. They are really common all over Assam and you will generally find growing them all year round. The climate here suits the plant’s growth and most Assamese thalis will include some pumpkin blossoms as a side dish. In case you were wondering, the pumpkin is a natural creeper and can basically grow in all directions. The flowers stay hidden underneath the canopy of the larger leaves, avoiding the attention of birds. Our feathered friends love to chomp the blossoms as much as we do.
A typical pumpkin flower harvest can haul between 15 to 50 flowers, depending on how big your plant is. I collected about 15 of them. Its very important to soak the flowers in some water for a little while before we begin to cook them. That way, all the small particles will clean out. The flowers grow very close to the ground and a passing thunderstorm can splash wet soil on them.
Meanwhile, we can make the marinate. My mother mixes rice flour, Bengal gram flour (besan), turmeric powder, cumin powder, chilli powder and salt along with an egg in a separate bowl. Once the blossoms have had their bath, we lightly jerk the excess water off and dip them in the bowl with the spice mix. It’s like their very own spa, one bath after another!
While Mother was dunking and dipping the flowers, I heated up some sunflower oil in a pan, just enough for a shallow fry. Lightly place the blossoms in the pan and fry between 3-5 minutes on low heat and turn them to the other side. Once done, transfer them onto some kitchen napkins to drain off the excess oil.
Serve them with some coriander chutney, have them as a side at lunch or simply much them as they come out from the kitchen (like I do). These are light and crispy and one of my favourite foods to cook and eat.
Do try the recipe and let me know!
- Pumpkin blossoms – 15 flowers
- Rice flour – 1 cup
- Bengal gram flour – half cup
- Turmeric powder – half teaspoon
- Chilli powder – half teaspoon
- Cumin powder – half teaspoon
- Egg – 1 whole
- Water – half cup
- Salt to taste
- Oil to shallow fry
- Wash the flowers properly in a bath to rid them of impurities. Tap them to remove excess water.
- In a deep bowl, add the rice flour, gram flour, the spices and egg along with the water. Mix properly to get a nice consistency.
- Heat oil in a pan and bring it up to a high temperature. Turn the heat down just before frying the flowers.
- Dip the flowers one after the other in the mixture and fry them for 3-5 minutes on low heat. Turn them over to the other side and fry for about 3 minutes.
- Once done, transfer on to some napkins and tap the excess oil dry.
- Serve with chutneys or ketchup. You could sprinkle a little salt over the top before serving.