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Saturday, 21 January 2012

Bhaji





When most people think of Indian food they typically imagine a real spicy dish with some curry. Well my taste buds have found a much different story over here as a variety of diverse ingredients and specialty cooking techniques fuse into vibrant flavors. There's still the curry and the spices, but there's many things I've never heard of or tasted before. 

One of the most extraordinary foods I have tasted while here is a Bengali (a lot of people that live in Agartala are Bengali meaning they are natives from the Bengal region in northeast India/Bangladesh) specialty called Pumpkin Bhaji. Pumpkin Bhaji is a thin strip of pumpkin fried in a crispy batter that contains delicious sesame seeds. It is unlike anything I have had before and is truly one of the best things I have ever had. The sesame seed batter is perfect and I think that anything fried in it would be a treat. The type of pumpkin used looks a little different than we’re used to and is pictured below. As you can see they aren’t your typical orange pumpkins we’re used to carving, but have a deep green color.



If you’re feeling adventurous I encourage you to try to make this local delight. The recipes I’ve found online all seem to vary and I’m unaware of how to exactly make it, but I’m sure it’ll be something you’ll enjoy if you choose to try it out. Once I am taught how to cook it I’ll share it with you for sure. Bhaji is one of many foods that the people of Agartala use to bring families and friends together. People here really take time to enjoy their every meal and their company even if it requires long breaks that put work on hold. I’m not complaining yet about the numerous breaks to eat the fresh food and to the drink tea along with my new friends.


One thing that I do and do not recommend is trying a green chili pepper from here. I do recommend it, because it'll be the hottest thing you have ever eaten. I do not recommend it, because if you are like me you will be crying, drinking milk, and eating Tums for the following hour. The other night we bought a large bag of them and then tried one whole pepper each. It was mind blowing how intense the spiciness was as my tongue and entire body was on fire. I wish I had a jalapeno to cool me down.

Here’s a link to the pictures I’ve taken so far during the first week http://photobucket.com/tomstasteofindia

1 comment:

  1. Tommy, I want to try the Pumpkin Bhaji! Hope you learn to make it and when you get home you can make it for us. I may have to try an Indian Restaurant again somewhere around here. You will have to give me some suggestions on what I should order. Love you lots, auntie xoxoxoxo

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