Vaangyaa phodi, Kacchi Kelyaa phodi, Bataatyaa phodi aani Suranaa phodi are all konkani names for crispy shallow fried Brinjals, Raw Bananas, Potatoes and Yam.
Just like the vast and delicious non vegetarian cuisine of the NKGSB community, there are quite a lot of yummy vegetarian dishes too, hidden in it’s folds! One such dish is Phodi. Vegetables like Brinjals, Potatoes, Raw bananas, yam are all marinated with simple spices and shallow fried till crisp. There is a particular fruit called Nirfanas, which is used to make vegetable as well as phodi, too.
Phodi are generally made on days when only vegetarian food is consumed and are served with some daal rice.
- 2 Medium Potatoes
- 1 Medium Brinjal
- 2 Raw Bananas
- 100 gm Yam
- 1 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
- 2 tsp Red chilli powder…. to be adjusted
- 2 tsp Tamarind pulp
- Salt to taste
- Oil for frying
For the coating :
- 1/2 cup Rice flour
- 1/2 cup Semolina
- To make the phodi, first wash and cut the raw vegetables into 1/2 cm thick slices. Immerse separately in water till use.
- Par boil the yam slices for about seven to eight minutes and drain.
- Heat little water and soak tamarind in it to get required pulp.
- Mix together the turmeric powder, red chilli powder and salt in a bowl.
- Drain and spread all the raw vegetables and parboiled yam slices in a dish. Rub the tamarind pulp on the yam pieces only and the prepared spice mix over all the vegetables well on both sides.
- Only in the case of potatoes, rub spice powders on only that number of slices, as you can fry immediately at a time. This is because, after coming in contact with salt, potato starts releasing water immediately.
- Mix the semolina and the rice flour to get a coarse mixture. Coat well the spiced vegetables with this mixture.
- Heat a cast iron skillet and shallow fry the phodi using oil, till crisp and a little charred on both sides.
- Serve hot with Varan bhaat or Daali Toay and steamed rice and some Tival or Kokum Kadhi.
- Serve some Ambade Kaarle Lonche or by the side too.
The NKGSBs use rice rawa (rice semolina) for coating the phodi just like in case of fish fry. The rice rawa is made at home by first washing rice grains, and then drying them on a cloth which are then ground to a coarse powder like semolina using the ragdaa in olden days and mixer grinder in today’s age. But as all cannot make it, I have suggested another option of mixing rice flour and semolina together.
Again, I would like to mention that the other vegetables like banana and brinjal cook quickly, and so does the yam as it’s been parboiled. But the potatoes take longer to cook and the frying has to be done with patience in low flame. The flame can be increased in between, but one has to be careful, else the potatoes covering will get burnt and they will remain undercooked. So it’s always advised to start with the potato phodi first.