|Bok phool fritters|
The white blooms of the agati /Sesbania grandiflora also known as West Indian pea are available during the cooler months of the year. Locally called bok phool, they are a delicacy and usually made into fritters with the addition of chick pea flour and a few spices. It's not only the blooms that are edible but the tender pods and leaves are also consumed. The lady who sold these blooms told me that she liked the fritters but her favourite way of having these blooms was adding them to scrambled eggs. Nothing like it, she tells me. I nod in agreement already visualizing myself rustling up the dish at home. But that will happen another day as fritters seem more tempting today...
To prepare the blooms the stamens need to be removed. Look for tiny insects that may be lodged inside. Wash gently as blooms can be so tender. I kept the stalks on much like how one might do with eggplants. The stalk is mean to be discarded.
15 agati blooms
1/3 cup chickpea flour
2 tsp rice flour (I used sticky rice flour)
Salt to taste
A quarter tsp soda bicarbonate
A quarter tsp turmeric powder
Dash of chilli powder
1 tsp poppy seeds
A quarter tsp fennel seeds
Enough oil to deep fry
Mix the chickpea flour and rice flour in a bowl.
Add the spices and mix well. Add some water to make a thickish batter.
Heat the oil in a pan.
Dip each bloom into the batter and fry in the hot oil.
This will cook very fast. Turn once so that both sides are golden and crisp.
Drain on kitchen paper.
The fritters taste best when they are still hot.
These go well as a snack or as an accompaniment to rice/dal/sabji.