I have been waiting for this month’s Progressive Eats party day to arrive with bated breath! And it’s because I am sharing a dish from Kashmir that is virtually unknown to those who did not grow up there. It’s not a main stream dish in the sense that when I was growing up this was saved for and served on a very special occasion – Lord Krishna’s Birthday. In most Hindu families this was a dish served on the day of fasting (feasting). Although you abstain from eating grains, meats, and most vegetables – fruits are allowed and why not! The festival arrives in peak summer, so fruits are in abundance and hence during a fast, one could eat copious amounts of fruits. Interestingly the only cooked foods allowed on those fasting days are foods that have been fried. One may not eat anything boiled if they are observing a fast. Hence the Tsunth Monji – Green Apple Fritters were a big deal on those fasting days.
Apples are Kashmir’s pride and joy. Any Kashmiri worth her salt knows her apples. Though an indigenous Kashmiri loves her Ambri apples which are native to Kashmir, we have grown used to our Benoni, Irish Peach, Ambri, White dotted Red, American Apirouge, Red Delicious, Golden Delicious and the Maharaji. And now in my adopted country I love my Granny Smith, Gala, Honey Crisp, Braeburn and everything in between.
So pardon me my extreme enthusiasm to share this recipe with you. The recipe requires tart apples – so granny smith are a perfect fit, but if you are in India and can get hold of Maharaji apples – there is nothing better for this dish than those. The medium heat cooking brings out a nice tartness to the apples. Paired with spices and chestnut flour batter the combination of crisp, hot, warm, sweet, sour, salty is a taste you won’t forget easily.
And if that was not enough to entice you with apples, we at the Progressive Eats have a mouth watering line up of “apples”. Fall is here and it’s all about the apples because this month, our host is Liz of That Skinny Chick Can Bake and she chose apples! I do love her for choosing apples this month. Thank you, Liz for hosting.
These Sweet and Savory Apple dishes are
- Apple and Pecan Stuffed Pork Chops from Never Enough Thyme
- Apple-Cheese Spread from All Roads Lead to the Kitchen
- Apple Chutney from Mother Would Know
- Savory Apple Cheddar Bread Pudding from Stetted
- Tsunth Monji – Green Apple Fritters from Spiceroots
- Apple Butter Coffee Cake from Pastry Chef Online
- Apple Streusel Cake with Yogurt Cream (Gluten-Free) from Jeanette’s Healthy Living
- Homemade Pink Applesauce (Gluten-Free) from The Heritage Cook
- Hot Buttered Rum Apple Pie with Cheddar Crust from The Wimpy Vegetarian
- Hubba Hubba Apple Cake from The Food Hunter’s Guide to Cuisine
- Maple Glazed Apple Tart from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Maple Roasted Apple Butter with Bourbon from Creative Culinary
Tsunth Monji – Green Apple Fritters
- 2 medium Granny Smith apples
- a medium bowl filled with water to soak sliced apples in
- 3/4 C chestnut flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cumin seeds 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp Hungarian paprika or kashmiri chilli
- 1/4 to 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper for heat - use as per your taste
- 1/2 C to 3/4 C water
- 1/4 C chestnut flour for dredging
- Oil for frying
- Chaat masala and Chutney for serving optional
- Core the apples. Slice each apple into 8 to 9 slices.
- Keep the apple slices in the bowl of water to prevent discoloration while you get the oil hot and mix the batter.
- Heat oil in a medium kadai ( preferably ) or any heavy bottom deep saute pan. ( use medium heat)
- while the oil is heating, mix the 3/4 C chestnut flour, cumin, salt, paprika, cayenne and half cup of water to make a batter. The batter should look like a pan cake batter. Add more water if needed.
- Put the flour for dredging on a plate.
- Now make an assembly line - take the Apple slices out of the water, on to the four for a quick dredge, then into the batter and then into the pan for frying. Fry until brown and crisp on both sides. Remove and drain excess oil before serving.
- Serve with chutney or a dash of chaat masala.
Ensure the temperature of the oil is between 325 and 360. No thermometer? Check if Oil is ready for frying by inserting a DRY wooden spoon into it. If it is ready, bubbles will form around it.Maintain the oil temperature to avoid soggy fritters. Do not let oil smoke.. Bad juju for flavor and safety. Do not overcrowd the pan.
If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, a progressive dinner involves going from house to house, enjoying a different course at each location. With Progressive Eats, a theme is chosen each month, members share recipes suitable for a delicious meal or party, and you can hop from blog to blog to check them out.
We have a core group of 12 bloggers, but we will always need substitutes and if there is enough interest would consider additional groups. To see our upcoming themes and how you can participate, please check out the schedule at Creative Culinary or contact Barb for more information.