It was sometime late October last year.
The Pujas were over, Diwali was round the corner. The perfume of shiuli wafted from the garden. Gorgeous golden sunshine flooded the house. And wisps of citrus floated lazily on a pastel blue sky.
As I logged in to my blog for the day, I was greeted by a message that read – Just discovered your blog as I was searching for ancient Bengali recipes. I am very impressed with what I have read so far and must congratulate you for your efforts. Some of your recipes makes me nostalgic and it took me back to my birthplace Silchar. Keep up your good work.
I was overwhelmed. Touched by the message.
And that was my first interaction with Ganadev Kaku. On a mellow autumn morning.
And once the conversations started, they just refused to end.
Started with food.
And very soon ventured into growing up years.
And common Sylheti roots.
And during one such conversation, Ganadev Kaku casually mentioned about the mulo pur he had prepared the day before.
That instantaneously got me hooked.
Mulo Pur ? I asked. I’ve had Chalkumro Pur, Sheem Pur, even Kakrol Pur. But never Mulo Pur.
Need the recipe please, I requested earnestly.
Ofcourse, Kaku assured.
And the recipe found its way to my inbox within an hour.
And it wasn’t long before weekend lunch featured Kaku’s Mulo Pur.
The only deviation from the original, I took the liberty of adding some freshly grated coconut to the stuffing.
How did it taste ? Well, the smiles around the table and a thumbs-up from S, who is not really a fan of radish, said it all.
Mulo Pur. Roundels of winter radish. A tear-jerking spicy stuffing of poppy-seed and mustard paste. Coriander stems for freshness. Grated coconut to pacify the heat. Dipped in a batter and fried to a sinful golden.
Mulo Pur (Stuffed Radish, Bengali Style)
- 2 mulo or radish (approximately of 1.5inch diameter)
- oil for frying
For the stuffing
- 1 tbsp posto or poppy seeds
- 1 tbsp yellow mustard seeds
- 1/2 tbsp black mustard seeds
- 2 tbsp coconut freshly grated
- 3-4 green chillies finely chopped
- 1 tbsp coriander stems fresh and finely chopped
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tbsp mustard oil
- salt to taste
For the batter
- 1/2 cup rice flour
- 1/2 cup besan or bengal gram flour
- 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
- 1/4 tsp kalonji or nigella seeds
- 1/4 tsp salt
For the batter
- In a bowl, mix the besan and rice flour. Sprinkle in the salt, kalonji and turmeric powder. Pour just enough water to form a thick batter. Mix well, ensuring there are no lumps. Keep aside.
For the stuffing
- Soak the poppy seeds and mustard seeds in warm water, 15 odd minutes or so. Drain and keep aside.
- Grind the poppy seeds, mustard seeds, coriander stems and green chilies with just a splash of water to form a smooth paste.
- Heat the mustard oil in a pan, add the poppy seed - mustard seed paste, sprinkle in the salt, throw in the green chilies, cook over a low flame till the ‘pur’ (stuffing) is cooked and no longer sticks to the pan.
- Add the freshly grated coconut, continue to cook for a further 2-3 minutes. Adjust seasonings, switch off the flame. Allow the ‘pur’ to cool to room temperature.
Assembling the Mulo Pur
- Peel the radish, make 3-4 mm thick roundels as shown in the picture. You would need two slices to assemble one mulo pur.
- Blanch the radish slices in a pot of boiling water with a pinch of salt, 5-7 minutes I would reckon, till the radish becomes tender, yet remains firm. (Take care that the radish doesn’t get overcooked and mushy)
- Place ½ tsp stuffing carefully over one slice of radish, gently place a second slice over it as shown in the picture. Press lightly.
- Heat the oil for frying.
- Dip the stuffed radish in the batter, fry till golden brown on all the sides.
- Keep aside on a kitchen absorbent towel. Serve hot.