Hiya friends. Hope you all are doing good.
We are still enjoying the beautiful, gorgeous spring weather here in my part of the world, before the hot summer temperatures set in.
Back in India, my family is enjoying the seasonal fruits like Mango and Jackfruit.
So, I decided to make a seasonal Konkani snack/sweet/nivedyam – Ponsa Moolik (or Ponsa Mulik) – you can call it Jackfruit Fritters – and share the recipe with you guys. Hope you like it.
Generally, I shy away from deep fried goodies, but then a thought triggers inside of me – if I shy away from deep friend snacks, am I depriving Sonshine of all those yummy snacks (both sweet and savory) that we (my husband and I) enjoyed as kids. So, I do make occasional deep fried snacks like Parippuvada and Banana Fritters (aka Pazham Pori). These deep fried stuff is enjoyed more when it is raining or when there is a chill in the evening temperatures (like right now) – there is some relationship between colder temperatures and deep fried goodies – they go hand in had.
Well, I say Jackfruit is seasonal – that is the case back in India.
But now, I get jackfruit in cans from South East Asian stores all year round. OK, I agree, it is not like the real, fresh fruit – definitely not – but the flavor and the aroma is still the same. Freshness – well, that is debatable.
A few days back my mother-in-law informed us that the jackfruit crop, this season, is very limited. During the jackfruit season,we find so many uses for jackfruit – the tender ones are used to make curries, dry sabjis, the sweet ones can be eaten like any other fruit, or are made into Jackfruit fritters (aka Ponsa Moolik) or the most famous Chakka Varatti (chakka in Malayalam is Jackfruit). Chakka Varatti is like preserving the jackfruit for many days (probably till the next season), the ripe pods are cooked in a jaggery-ghee concoction and made into a paste that kinda resembles a jam. This is then stored in containers, can be eaten as such or made into Payasam. We also have found uses for its seed and even the leaves – Konkanis make a small basket out of the Jackfruit leaves and make Idlis using those small basket as molds on Samsaar Padwo (Konkani New Year).
If you have not seen Jackfruit ever, here is a picture to show you how it looks – I consider it a nature’s miracle to safeguard the seeds. It has a thick outer layer, followed by thin ribbons holding the thick “bulb” which has the seed inside of it. It is the bulb, that is the fruit, that has an aroma unlike any other fruit.
As soon as we moved to the US, we actually found Jackfruit at Whole Foods, and the store clerk had so many questions about this strange fruit when we bought it. That was the first and last time I found Jackfruit at Whole Foods. I have seen this at some South Asian stores, but since it is difficult to tell the taste/type from a whole fruit, I rarely buy the whole fruit.
Now that I have given you an overview about the jackfruit, the main ingredient of Ponsa Moolik, let me move on to the actual recipe. Panosu in Konkani means Jackfruit. Ponsa Moolik is pretty easy to prepare and no advanced preparation is needed. A very traditional and authentic recipe that involves not too many culinary skills and easy to prepare always gets a thumbs up from me. The only change I made to the recipe was to add some pistachios to the (thick) batter (just to add some extra crunch) and slightly alter the shape. (For measurements, I relied on aayis recipes)
Did I tell you that I have started taking pictures for the blog? Yeah, I am dabbling in food photography too and it is taking me such a long time to set things up, visualize, conceptualize and take pictures. I am still learning the technicalities of the photography, but decided to go ahead and shoot some pictures – shooting what my eyes and heart like – keeping the technicalities aside.
Ponsa Moolik photos were another (cucumber lemon cooler and coca cristina are the other two) attempt from me to venture into food photography. I spent the whole afternoon taking ridiculous amount of pictures for these crisp, golden beauties. Most of the props used in these pictures belonged to my grandmother and that means they are more than 100 years old. These are some of my cherished props and you know why.
Deep fried, sweet jackfruit fritters - crispy on the outside and soft on the inside - a traditional, seasonal Konkani delicacy.
20 minPrep Time
35 minCook Time
55 minTotal Time
- 1 cup (180 grams) sooji/rava
- 1/2 cup (about 40-50 grams) shredded coconut
- 1/2 cup jaggery (See Recipe Notes)
- 1/2 cup (150 grams/about 3-4 bulbs) jackfruit (remove the seeds if any)
- 10-12 pistachios (optional)
- 2 cardamom pods; husked and ground to a fine powder
- a pinch of salt
- Oil to deep fry
- Grind jackfruit bulbs, coconut and jaggery into a paste.
- Mix the sooji, salt and ground cardamom to the paste and let it rest for 20 minutes.
- Add the crushed pistachios.
- Heat oil over medium high heat.
- Divide the thick batter into 24-26 equal sized balls. Shape the balls into either round or flatten them a little to form small discs.
- When the oil is hot, add the discs/balls into the oil, and deep fry till golden color.
- Drain on paper towel.
1. Instead of jaggery, you can also use brown sugar, though the taste will not be as authentic as using jaggery. Adjust to taste (the actual amount of jaggery depends on the sweetness of the jackfruit)
2. If you are using canned jackfruit, drain the juice before grinding.
3. Flip the mooliks over to the other side occasionally to ensure even cooking.
4. Make sure the oil is not too hot - if the oil is too hot, the mooliks will brown quickly from outside and will not be properly cooked on the inside.
5. Tastes best - crispy, crunchy outside and soft, tender on the inside - the day it is prepared. But leftovers can be saved in an airtight container.
6. You can also add 1-2 teaspoon of rice flour if the batter becomes too runny.
Konkani New Year (Samsaar Padwo) is the upcoming festival. I am planning to make this traditional, authentic Chana Ghashi (a no-onion and no-garlic dish). This again used raw, tender jackfruit pieces along with protein-rich black chana.
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