Monday, 15 August 2016




     1)    Salted tender bamboo (Kirlu in Konkani, Mulankoombe in Malayalam. For salting and desalting instructions, go to my tender bamboo in Konkani cuisine article) – 500 gm.
     2)    Hot red chili powder – 18 gm.
     3)    Putte podi or roasted rice powder – 200 gm.
     4)    Asafoetida powder – ½ teaspoon
     5)    Cooking oil – to deep fry

To make:

          Rinse well, the salted tender bamboo in water. Soak them in around 2 litres of tap water overnight. Next morning, drain off the water and just leave them in a colander or strainer for 15 minutes to get rid of any excess water. Now put a couple of pieces in a thick, wide polythene envelope (to prevent splattering) and use a mallet to crush the pieces nicely (or you can use a metal mortar and pestle too).

          Put the crushed bamboo in a mixing bowl and repeat till all the pieces are fully crushed. Now tip in the rice powder, the chili powder and the asafoetida powder and mix nicely, kneading the dough a little bit with your fingers (use a glove if you have sensitive skin). Make small, gooseberry sized balls by rolling bits of dough between your palms and set aside.

Set a wok or frying pan on high heat. Pour in the cooking oil. As soon as the oil is hot (do not allow it to smoke as overheated oil is not good for health), press each dough ball between your palms lightly to make small patties. Slip them in gently into the hot oil. Take care not to overcrowd the wok or pan.

          3 or 4 minutes later, stir softly as you want the patties to fry uniformly without breaking up in the oil. They will start turning a bit crispy in around 10 minutes (depending on the heat and the size of the patties). Turn down the flame and fry for a few more minutes till the patties are well done. They will hard and woody to the touch of the straining ladle.

It is time to lift out your precious kirla bhojjo and to drain off the excess oil. Serve with hot rice and curry or just enjoy this gourmet’s delight with tea, coffee or wine.

I do not exaggerate when I say that you can win your way to a Konkani person’s heart by serving this bewitching titbit. In fact, this little snack is so entrancing, you will push aside a plate of superbly fried fish in favour of Kirla bhojjo.

Bon app├ętit!!!

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