Chal kumro bora / Ash gourd fritter is the best way to consume this otherwise boring vegetable chal kumro/ash gourd with respect to taste. This can make a great combo with plain rice and lentil soup (dal).
We Bengalis have a lot of vegetarian dishes like this one where we introduced fish in the recipe to enhance the taste even further. Nevertheless, this recipe can still be made in vegetarian way with negligible alteration.
The main idea of chal kumro bora is to make semi-circular discs of chal-kumro or ash gourd. Put some stuffing in and then batter fry them.
Things you need
- Chal Kumro (small size – 1)
- Grated coconut – 1 cup
- Mustard seeds – 2 tbsp
- Green chilies – 3
- Sugar – 2 tbsp
- App purpose flour/ Maida – 1/2 cup
- Semolina / Suji/ Rava – 4 tbsp
- Poppy Seeds – 2 tbsp
- Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
- Red chili powder – 1tsp
- Mustard oil – 4 tsp
- White oil/Vegetable oil – 250 ml
- Nigella seeds – 1 tsp
- Small prawns – 200 g (Optional)
- For this recipe use baby ash gourd (kochi chal kumro) which is small in size and seeds are still soft.
- Cut them into thick discs first, then cut vertically from the middle to get a thick and semi circular shape.
- Boil the pieces of ash gourd/ Chal Kumro half way through. You don’t need to cook them all the way through as you will fry them later.
If this step is skipped, fry the chal kumro pieces for longer time on low-medium flame to get cooked properly.
- Make a batter- Mix flour, semolina (Suji/Rawa), poppy seeds, turmeric and chili powder, salt, sugar and 1 tbsp mustard oil and water to make a thick batter. Let it rest for minimum 30 minutes.
You may need add a little water later and semolina would absorb the water.
- Make a thick paste- Grind coconut, 2 tbsp mustard seeds, 3 green chilies, 1 tbsp sugar and pinch of salt to make a thick paste. Add a dash of water to help the ingredients blend into a nice and smooth paste.
- Make the stuffing- Heat up 3 tbsp mustard oil and temper with nigella seeds (Kalo jeere), then fry the prawns with turmeric and salt. Break the prawns in even smaller pieces and add the thick paste to it. Stir the mix on medium flame, until it dries up and no raw smell is left. This will be the stuffing.
If you wish to make it full vegetarian, skip the prawns and just cook the coconut-mustard paste for stuffing.
But the prawns do make a huge positive difference in taste in comparison to the vegetarian version.
- Take the semi-circular ash gourd pieces (Chal Kumro) and slit them half way through and put the stuffing in. If the pieces are divided into 2 pieces, the stuffing won’t stay in place and it will fall apart while frying.
You can scrape some seeds in the middle to accommodate more stuffing.
- Dip the ash gourd pieces into the batter and shallow/deep fry them.
It is better to shallow fry them in low-medium heat to ensure the stuffing is not leaking out and the fritter is holding its shape.
Delicious Chal kumro bora is ready now. Enjoy!
If you like this recipe please do give it a try and tag me on Instagram, I would love to see how it turned out for you!
Check out some other recipes by clicking here.