Daily Archives: August 11, 2015

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Beneath Your Feet.”

I am currently visiting my home country, away from the hot and humid weather of the Middle East and enjoying the heavy rains in my home town. This weekend we had taken a car ride through the dense forest area, stopping on the way to view the flora and fauna of the place, to breathe the fresh air, feel the falling rain, and not to forget to click the creepy crawling insects that we saw on the roads, and hoping all along to catch a glimpse of the animals living in this part. Each visit of these familiar roads through these dense forested areas add a collection of new memories and some good pictures, but I could not see any animals in this particular visit.

I am posting below a couple of the pictures that I clicked this Sunday.

The grass on the wet soil.
The grass on the wet soil.
This seasonal plant, familiar to the region.
This seasonal plant, familiar to the region.
a familiar sight on the ground during the rainy season.
a familiar sight on the ground during the rainy season.

Gilki Bhajji Or Sponge Gourd Fritters/Pakodas

A new month starts, I am on my next blog post that I am writing from my hometown in my motherland. Yes folks, I am back in India, currently visiting my hometown and then moving on to other cities.

After a couple of days of shopping for the home tour and finishing other errands, I took my exit from the hot and extremely humid Summer weather of the Middle East and landed in my hometown and got welcomed with heavy rain downpour. The first step out of the aircraft brought a big cheer on our faces when we saw it was pouring heavily outside. It is so amazing to think about how I experienced different weathers in different countries on the same day.

When I started writing the post I was at my sister’s place, and now finishing this incomplete post from another city. Both my sister and Brother-in-law have always pampered me with their love and affection, and it has always been a joy to spend time at their place, not to forget the yummy tasty food that my sister makes and I love hogging on.

Reaching the hometown, the Scooter ride becomes the fun and adventure part of all trips. I ventured out on a two-wheeler to breathe the air of my city, a rainy day, sometimes drizzling with intermittent rain or other times a heavy downpour. At one stretch of the road the rain is heavy and by the time we are at the end of the road the rain is scant. One has to experience the exhilaration of coming back to the hometown after living away for a long time to understand how one feels. I loved each minute of the scooter drive, the erratic traffic, the overtaking of other vehicles, the constant honks, the hands used to give direction for turning to left or right, the sheer sense of back to old style driving, zipping through, zigzagging or make way through vehicles was simply thrilling, all this is missed when one is driving a car. The drive around the familiar roads, seeing the familiar road side stalls, the fruit vendors, the vegetable vendors, the drizzle and sometimes heavy downpour and maneuvering the scooter around brought back fond memories. I am happy to be in my city.

I stopped at the vegetable vendors during my scooter jaunt and purchased few vegetables that I do not get to see in my place of residence in the Middle East. These fresh looking Sponge Gourd ended up in my purchased vegetable bag and the accompanying rain resulted in these Pakodas being fried in my sister’s kitchen.

Fresh Gilki or Sponge Gourd
Fresh Gilki or Sponge Gourd


Sponge Gourd: 2 nu.

Bengal Gram flour: 250 gm

Green Coriander: 1 Tbsp (Finely chopped)

Red Chili Powder: 2 Tsp

Carom Seeds: 1 Tsp

Sesame Seeds: 1 Tsp

Salt: To Taste

Oil: For Frying

Ingredients for making the Gilki Bhajji or Pakoda
Ingredients for making the Gilki Bhajji or Pakoda


Wash the Sponge Gourd, wipe it dry, and then cut into medium thin rounds.

Heat a Kadai and put oil and heat the oil on high setting of the gas stove.

Take gram flour in a bowl, add the chili powder, Carom and Sesame seeds, and salt and using half to three fourth glass of water make a medium thick batter. Add the finely chopped coriander. Add 1-2 Tsp drops of hot oil and then beat the batter smooth.

Gram flour batter for dipping the medium thick roundels of Gilki.
Gram flour batter for dipping the medium thick roundels of Gilki.

Dip the roundels of the Sponge Gourd into this batter and then put in the hot oil and deep fry till crispy and golden brown in color. Remove them and drain on a kitchen tissue roll, serve hot with Tomato Ketchup or any favorite sauce. I like them plain without any sauce or dips.

This Sponge Gourd pakoda or bhajji was the first dish that I made on my home tour using the local seasonal vegetables. It was nice to have my sister around to watch me when I was busy with my recipe and clicking different angle photos for posting as my next blog post.

Friends, here is one more of the Maharashtrian recipes that I enjoy eating. Happy trying out these crispy Bhajjis in your kitchen.

Do visit again for my next blogpost- a Corn recipe, another seasonal favorite.