Our recent visit to Ahmedabad, Gujarat, saw us bang in the middle of ponk season. Tender sorghum aka green jowar aka hurda – ‘ponk‘ in Gujarati – is available in parts of Gujarat and Maharashtra from December to February or so. This winter specialty is, apparently, loaded with health benefits and is extremely delicious. They can be consumed in a variety of ways – sauteed lightly with a little salt and lemon and garlic, made into bhel or vadas, baked into a bread, and what not!
In Ahmedabad, I got my first-ever taste of ponk, and absolutely loved it. I made some finger-lickingly delicious bhel with some of it, a huge hit with the extended family. I even managed to get some ponk back to Bangalore, which I used to make vadas. Crispy, delicious, deep-fried balls of goodness are what these ponk vadas turned out to be! We thoroughly enjoyed snacking on them, alongside our evening tea.
These ponk vada are just the perfect snack for chilly winter evenings. While tender sorghum is still in season, please, please, please do try to get your hands on some – it is definitely something that needs to be experienced! You could also try your hands at some ponk vada! They aren’t all that tough to make!
Check out the recipe for ponk/hurda vada or tender sorghum fritters.
Ingredients (makes 18-20 vadas):
- 1-1/2 cups tender ponk aka tender sorghum
- 1 cup gram flour (besan)
- 1/2 cup rice flour
- 2 large onions
- A few stalks of fresh coriander leaves
- A 1-inch piece of ginger
- Salt, to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
- Red chilli powder, to taste
- 2 pinches of asafoetida
- Oil for deep frying
- Wash the ponk thoroughly in running water, removing any impurities or mud from them. Place in a colander and let all the excess water drain out.
- Take the washed and drained ponk in a big mixing bowl.
- Chop the onions and coriander finely and add to the mixing bowl.
- Peel the ginger and chop finely. Crush with a mortar and pestle, and add to the mixing bowl.
- Add gram flour, rice flour, asafoetida, salt, turmeric powder and red chilli powder to the mixing bowl.
- Adding water little by little, mix the ingredients together into a batter of dropping consistency, which isn’t too runny.
- Heat oil for frying in a heavy-bottomed pan, till smoking point. Then, lower the flame to medium. Shape 2 patties from the batter and drop them into the hot oil. Deep fry on medium flame, turning sides, till crisp and brown on the outside and well cooked from the inside. Use all the batter to make patties and fry them in a similar manner. Serve the tender sorghum fritters piping hot with sauce or sweet-sour tamarind chutney.
Did you like the recipe? Do let me know in the comments section!