Friday, 8 December 2017


Ahh... it seems I can never learn the tricks of good photography... those reflections and shadows pisses me off. I remember the evening I prepared this KURMUREY BHINDI IN A SPICY SESAME SEED & RICE FLOUR BATTER... The recipe is super simple and this greedy woman ate half of the crispy, superbly yum batter fried bhindi while frying, leaving little for the men and Cristine. When it came to taking pictures, I could not get away with those reflections, it was perhaps 10 pm with two hungry people waiting for the dinner to be served. Thanks to the use of rice flour in the batter, they were still crisp when served. We Bengalis eat fries and fritters either as a snack or as an accompaniment to dal and rice. All the sweating I had in clicking these not so satisfying pictures did vanish when we had our dinner.... However the picture quality is, the KURMUREY BHINDI IN A SPICY SESAME SEED & RICE FLOUR BATTER tasted heavenly. Doing a batter fry is not a big deal for us with the readymade rice flour or gram flour or corn flour always stored in our kitchen. Going back in time, it indeed was a tiring job for our mothers. On days when they planned for a batter fry, they had to soak "atap chal".... a special kind of low priced rice for hours, then made a paste of it in a "shil nora".... added spices, chopped green chillies, poppy seeds in it to prepare a batter that yielded super crispy fritters. My mother's two kids wanted fritters everyday but she did not allow..... both parents had serious concerns about their overweight daughter. They were unhappy that the daughter did not take interest in physical activities, neither did the mother allow me to mingle much in the neighbourhood famous for its notoriety. Those were the days you know people respected the good in you, yes I will take the pride of being a decent girl who was not disturbed by the notorious gang except for one or two rascals. We were worried about the little brother who had to go out to play every evening and had to pick up dirty words. That boy, my little brother who was always asked to follow his "didibhai", today has taken all the responsibilities of his parents, while I manage with few calls weekly. Our father left for the heavenly abode like a king whose daughter-in-law used to call me every 10th January and say "Today is Pa's birthday, you remember na?".... No wonder, the happy and content me will have fries & fritters more often.

Different kinds of fries & fritters was a Thursday affair at our home. It was an all vegetarian day and our mother had to feed us some way or the other. It was last week when she complained that her son still does not want to eat veggies.... only meat and his favourite "mota aloo bhaja".... home style french fries. Come on, many of you will agree that our mothers knew how to fry something near like french fries some 40 years ago.... My senior's late big aunt used to shred potato this thin using her two hands and a "boti" or pirdai [wiki]... a special kind of knife with stand used in Eastern India? I do not have a "shilnora" or a "boti"at my home, yet I remain that traditional Bengali.... I need to prove it soon. Sitting in this island, it is not really a problem. I find it very much amazing that the natives of this island eat what we grew up eating!.... gosh from "kamranga".... "ankh"..... "narkol" to "batabilebu"... "aam".... "gur"..... so recreating a traditional dish using fresh, local ingredients is not a problem.... if only my men's tastebuds matched mine.... the senior is still ok but the junior does not seem to have come out from my womb. In any of my posts, I do not at all feel like keeping aside this wonderful island, neither my birthplace / secular India .... Since I lack grey matter.... justice may not be prevailed in all cases.... but the wish is genuine. Those who know me also know I do not fake. Anyways, batter fried bhindi / okra / ladysfinger / dhyarosh is not really a Bengali thing.... we love bhindi bhaja actually and add it to prepare mixed veggies. I must mention boiled bhindi is my favourite and very good to have when you have constipation. I first tasted this kurkurey bhindi at my immediate neighbouring aunty's place. She stayed in Mumbai for 42 long years and came back to Kolkata to spend the rest of their retired life. I simply loved the crunch, given I love anything with bhindi / okra / ladysfinger. Back in Kolkata I did try but was not happy with the outcome. Once I entered the food blogging world, I saw a couple of my blogger friends had blogged on it. I thought why not try it again with a slightly different batter. With absence of "posto".... or poppyseed in our life, there is a considerable use of "shada til" ...... white sesame seed in my kitchen. We must use the correct amount as it tends to taste bitter if the amount is more than enough. So, below is my recipe of KURMUREY BHINDI IN A SPICY SESAME SEED & RICE FLOUR BATTER which you can enjoy as an evening snacks or as an accompany to rice and dal.

Bhindi : 12-15
Turmeric Powder : 1tsp
Red Chilli Powder : 1/2tsp
Coriander Powder : 1/2tsp
Cumin Powder : 1/2tsp
Black Pepper Powder : 1tsp [coarsely ground]
Aamchur Powder : 1/2tsp [dry mango powder]
White Sesame Seed : 1/2small cup
Rice Flour : 1medium cup
Gram Flour : 2tbsp
Baking Soda : A Pinch
Sugar : 1tsp
Salt : As Required
Oil : 150-200ml... the left over can be reserved for later use

Wash all the bhindis / okras / dhyarosh / ladysfinger thoroughly under running water. Pat dry with a clean, dry, kitchen towel.

Discard the stem end of the bhindis and then cut half. I think authentically, for this recipe they are cut into thinner strips.... I did not take that risk just like those friends who will not take the risk of cooking a fresh, sweet water fish with only slitted green chillies, nigella seeds, turmeric and water.

Marinate the halved okras with salt, little turmeric and black pepper powder and keep aside for at least 20 minutes. Meanwhile, dry roast the white sesame seeds till they turn light brown. Let cool and dry grind to a powder.

Take the rice flour, sesame seeds powder, gram flour, turmeric powder, sugar and the required amount of salt in a bowl. Add water little by little to prepare a thick paste.

Add the red chilli powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, black pepper powder, aamchur powder and a pinch of baking soda to the batter. Mix very well and keep at rest for 5 minutes.

Heat oil in a deep wok. Coat the behinds / dhyarosh well in the thick batter discarding the water that had released after marination.

Deep fry adjusting the temper from low to medium. Take out and place them on to a tissue paper.

Transfer to a serving plate and enjoy hot either with tea / coffee or with dal and rice!

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