Best of Bengali- Kumro Phuler Bora (Pumpkin Blossom Fritters)

Growing up in such a congested city, I never thought about how my grandparents and others like them desperately clung to their memories of their motherland by creating their own urban jungles. If you walk around East London, you’ll see balconies overflowing with tomato vines, mustard stems and of course, pumpkin blossoms spilling over the fences.  Pumpkin, squash, zucchini, I underestimated them all in my youth. I could never understand why my Dadi thought that a lamb curry was improved by adding this sweet fleshy mush. How naive I was!

If you’ve been following Golden Tiffin for a long time, you’ll know I love a good garnish. Pomegranates, coriander, a spray of chilli powder, there is a place for it all! One of my favourite ways to finish a platter is by using edible flowers. Knowing my obsession, my green-fingered dad cut me a bag full of pumpkin blossoms, thinking I’d decorate a salad with them.

But I had bigger plans.

If you’ve never tried kumro phuler bora before, I highly suggest you give it a go! Although the blossoms are available to purchase in places like farmer’s markets or Waitrose, I prefer to rely on local, organic produce from the plentiful back garden. If you don’t have green space, I know plenty of a people who grow them in big plant pots in their flats or rent an allotment.

Prep+cooking time: 15 mins
Servings: 3 portions of fritters

Ingredients

  • 10 pumpkin/squash/zucchini blossoms, washed and stamen removed from the inside
  • 100g self raising flour

  • 100g gram flour

  • pinch of salt

  • pinch of pepper

  • pinch of red chilli flakes

  • pinch of turmeric

Instructions

  1. Prepare the pumpkin blossoms and leave to a side.

  2. Heat a frying pan of fresh oil on a medium flame.

  3. In a mixing bowl, stir the batter ingredients together with spoonfuls of water to create a slightly thick paste. Test that the oil is ready for frying by dropping a small drop of batter in. If not, leave for another minute or so until the batter begins to sizzle.

  4. Coat the blossoms in the batter, removing the excess on the sides of the bowl and frying for a minute or so on each side. The batter should puff up and turn a crispy, golden brown.

  5. Kumro phuler bora is a very delicate snack. You must drain the excess oil on tissue paper and serve it immediately!

Note: Some people stuff the blossoms with paneer to help it keep a bulbous shape even once it cools but the traditional version is plain and simple.