‘Tele Bhaja’ (Vegetable Fritter) is an indispensable part of Bengali culture. Being born and brought up in North Kolkata I always have grow in a a ‘Para Culture’ where ‘Cha’ (Tea) and ‘Tele Bhaja’ in the evening is a common story. In every street there would be a ‘Dada’ s special telebhajar dokan, where you’ll get to see a bunch of people gathered around a very shabby shop with a yellow bulb hanging from ceiling and the ‘karigar’ (cook) is frying these lovely fritters by batches in a big black iron kadai. ‘Aoor Chop’, ‘Kashmiri Chop’, ‘Vegetable Chop’ and ‘Mochar Chop’ are some of the famous fritters available in Kolkata.
Normally this ‘Mochar Chop’ is made with breadcrumb coating but I have given it a little twist … instead of making croquettes I have made fritters of it. It becomes light and you can make it instantly (provided you banana blossoms are ready to be cooked … that is a little bit tedious job I must admit). You need not to shape it like a cutlet in bread crumbs instead dip it in a thick batter of chickpea flour and deep fry it. Your “Mochar Chop” is ready! Serve with a hot cup of tea and ‘muri’ (puffed rice)…
For the dough:
- 1 ½ cups Banana Flower – (Boiled and mashed partially)
- ¾ cup Potato – (Boiled and mashed)
- 1 (Big – Finely Chopped) Onions
- 1 ½ Tbsps Roasted Peanuts – (Peeled and crushed)
- 1 ½ Tbsps Raisins
- 1 tsp Ginger – (Finely Chopped)
- ½ tsp Turmeric Powder
- 3 (Finely chopped) Green Chillies
- ¾ tsp Roasted Cumin & Dry Red Chillie Powder
- ½ tsp Garam Masala Powder
- To taste Salt
- 1 tsp Sugar
- 2 Tbsps Oil for frying onions
- Refined oil for deep-frying
For the batter:
- 8 Tbsps Besan or Chickpea Flour
- 2 Tbsps Rice Flour
- ¼ tsp Carom Seeds
- ¼ tsp Turmeric
- ¼ tsp Red Chillie Powder
- ¾ tsp Baking Soda
- Salt – A little
- Boil the banana flower adding little salt and turmeric. They should be cooked but not mushy.
- Chop them and then lightly mash them.
- Peel and mash the boiled potato with salt. The mashed potatoes should be very smooth. Keep aside.
- Meanwhile mix all the ingredients mentioned under batter and make a thick batter with a little water. The batter should be on thicker side to coat the dough perfectly.
- Heat 2 tsp oil and fry the onions till it becomes translucent.
- Add chopped ginger and green chillie.
- Now in a big mixing bowl mix the boiled banana blossoms, mashed potato, fried masala, lightly crushed pea nuts, soaked raisins, roasted cumin-red chillie powder, garam masala powder, sugar, pinch of salt together. Bind it very well.
- Now divide the dough into 12-14 portions. Coat them in the batter and deep fry them till they become light brown in colour.
- Serve them with tomato sauce, green salad and hot cup of tea.