Chana Dal And Phodshi (Kuli / Mulshi) Croquettes …… A snack prepared and enjoyed during monsoon season ......
During monsoon season lots of leafy vegetables are available, sometimes we get a kind of chives in the market. Phodshi is one such leafy vegetable that is available in plenty. I have no knowledge of its English name whatsoever. It resembles spring onions or garlic springs, but has a blade like stiff leaves of about 8 inches in all and sometimes they are a little bitter too. Bhaji or Vadas are prepared with these leaves. They taste great when added to chana dal paste and prepared as croquettes. Chana dal Vada / Croquettes with Phodshi is a superb dish to incorporate the goodness of the pulse and leafy vegetable together.
Trim off the white portion of the end of the leafy vegetable Phodshi, that’s the bitter part. Discard it. Cut the green portion into small pieces. Wash, drain and keep this aside ready. You should have about 4 cups of finely chopped pieces.
Wash and soak 2 cups of chana dal in plenty of water for about 3 hours. Wash again and drain off all the water. Put it in a colander for 20 minutes for all excess water to get drained off properly. Remove and coarsely grind the chana dal to a rava texture.
Put the ground chana dal in a large stainless steel bowl. Add to this 2 tsp of red chilly powder, 1 tsp coriander powder, 1 tsp of hing, 1 tsp fennel powder, 2 tblsp of rice flour, salt to taste and the drained phodshi and mix well to a stiff dough consistency. The mixture should be that of bakri consistency. Do check in on the attached picture.
Heat plenty of oil in a thick bottomed Iron Kadai, when smoking hot lower the heat to minimum and wait for 4-5 minutes. Now take a lemon sized lump of the mixture and roll it into a tight oblong shape like that of croquettes.
Slide them into the hot oil one by one and fry in hot oil by stirring often. Do not add more croquettes, or overcrowd the kadai. There should be enough space and oil for the croquettes to get evenly fried. So fry few pieces each time in batches.
When evenly browned, it may take about 6-8 minutes, remove on an absorbent paper for the excess oil to drain off. Continue with the remaining mixture till all the mixture is used up.
Serve the croquettes hot with any chutney or ketchup of your choice. You can also serve this as an accompaniment with Dal-Rice for lunch or dinner. You can also serve this during parties as starters with any dip of your choice. This is a versatile snack that can be served with anything at anytime. Just enjoy them when they are hot.