Battered dudhi fingers

Matt Tebbutt prepares a delicious vegetarian snack using a little known member of the gourd family
By Matt Tebbutt
Battered dudhi fingers
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4-6
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes plus 30 minutes resting time
  • Effort: easy

Ingredients

  • 150 g rice flour
  • 60 g glutinous rice flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp salt
  • peanut oil, for deep-frying
  • 450 g dudhi, (see Cooks tip below)

For the tamarind dipping sauce

  • 2.5 cm ball tamarind pulp
  • 2 hot dried red chillies, stems removed
  • 4 sprigs coriander, chopped
  • 1 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 lime, juice only

Tips and Suggestions

Dudhi is a member of the gourd family and is also known as bottle gourd, milk gourd or white pumpkin.

Method

1. For the tamarind dipping sauce: put the tamarind into a small bowl, add 180ml warm water, and use your fingers to gently tease the ball apart and dissolve a little of the pulp in the liquid. Set aside for 5 minutes, then use your fingers again to rub more of the softened tamarind into the liquid. Strain through a fine sieve into a medium bowl, pressing on any remaining tamarind with the back of a spoon; discard the solids.

2. Crush the chillies with a pestle and mortar and add to the bowl of tamarind liquid. Stir in the coriander, garlic, sugar, fish sauce, lime juice and a pinch of salt to taste, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Transfer to a small serving bowl and set aside.

3. Whisk the rice flour, glutinous rice flour, baking powder and salt together in a large bowl. Gradually add 275ml water, whisking until the batter is smooth. Set aside, at room temperature, for 30 minutes.

4. Heat enough peanut oil for deep-frying until hot. Dip the dudhi into the batter then fry in the hot oil, in batches, for about 3-4 minutes, or until golden and crisp.

5. Drain on paper towels, sprinkle with salt and serve hot with the tamarind dipping sauce.

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