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Jeegujje Podi / Devichya Gujyache Podi (Breadfruit Fritters)
Prep time: 15-20 mins | Frying time: 3 mins per batch (approx 15 mins for mentioned quantity)
- 1/4 – 1/2 of a big breadfruit * see note#1
- oil for deep frying
- 1 cup gram flour/ chick pea flour/besan
- 1 tablespoon rice flour
- 3/4th-1 tsp chilli powder
- 1 pinch asafoetida/hing
- 1/8th teaspoon ajwain (carom seeds)
- 1/8th teaspoon cumin
- 1 pinch turmeric powder
- 1/8th teaspoon (approx 1 pinch) baking soda / eating soda/ soda bi-carb * see note#2
- Water as required (approx 3/4th cup)
- Salt to taste (approx 1 tsp)
1. Vertically slice the breadfruit in half. Smear a sharp knife (only the blade) with a little oil and remove the skin. Then vertically cut the two slices again – so you have 4 parts in all. Carefully remove the center portion (the pith) of the breadfruit & discard. Now cut the breadfruit into thin slices. Keep aside.
2. Prepare the batter by placing all the ingredients in a wide and shallow bowl. Add water little by little (not all at once), stop, mix/whisk and proceed – do this till you get a smooth, lump free and runny batter. See note#2
3. Heat the oil for deep frying in a wok/kadhai and test the readiness of the oil by dropping a small drop of batter into it. The droplet should come up within 3-4 seconds forming bubbles around it. See note#3
4. Dip about 7-8 slices of breadfruit (or as many as your frying pan can accommodate without overcrowding) into the bowl of batter and coat all of the slices till they are well coated. Do this in advance so that you don’t waste time coating the slices one by one and then dropping them into the oil to fry. To ensure evenly fried pieces, keep 7-8 slices coated and ready to go.
5. Gently slip the batter coated slices into the hot oil one by one in such a way that slices dropped in immediate succession don’t touch each other – this will prevent them from sticking to each other. So drop one slice and then the next one a little far from it. Leave the slices undisturbed for approx 40-50 seconds before gently flipping them over to fry on the other side. The fritters should be slightly puffy and golden in colour. * see notes
6. Carefully remove the fritters with a slotted spoon to drain off excess oil and place on an absorbent kitchen tissue. Repeat process until all the slices are fried.
7. Serve hot with coconut chutney or tomato ketchup as an evening tea time snack.Notes:
1. I missed to weigh the breadfruit but used up approximately 1/4 – 1/2 of it to prepare fritters. The whole breadfruit may have been close to 900grams – 1kg. I suggest you cut and peel half of the breadfruit and prepare fritters. You can always top up with more batter and fry more podis if you like later. The unused breadfruit can be used to prepare a curry or shallow fried with red chilli paste & salt.
3. To test the consistency, just drop the batter from height into the bowl – it should be a thin paste like stream and form droplets while falling. If it is too runny it won’t coat the slices properly. Too thick and the coating won’t cook while frying.
4. It is important that the oil is maintained on a medium-high temperature. If it is too hot (high) then the fritters will brown too soon on the outside and remain uncooked inside. Reduce the heat and wait for the oil to cool till just right. If the oil is not hot enough the fritters will absorb too much oil and remain flat (un-crisp) even after frying for a long time.
5. When the fritters are frying do not pour extra oil over them with a ladle like you would do while frying pooris. This is a trick normally used to aid puffing up of the pooris but the fritters may flatten if you do this, so just leave them alone and let them puff up on their own.
6. The addition of baking soda is optional but helps the fritters to puff up and the covering doesn’t stick to the breadfruit but forms a cavity (as seen in picture#4 above).