Cassia tora, commonly known as tora plants grow profusely like weeds everywhere, with the onset of monsoon in Coastal Karnataka. This monsoon herb is called taikilo in Konkani & is a favourite of Konkanis. They are turned into some mouth-watering delicacies of Konkani cuisine.
Only the tender leaflets of top 2 branches of each tora plant are used in dishes. As tora leaves mature they tend to get bitter in taste.
Tora leaves are called taikile pallo in Konkani. Tender tora leaves are plucked & are used to make these delicious dishes:
In Konkani cuisine, we also make steamed dumplings using tora leaves (taikile muddo in Konkani), spicy dosas for lunch, dinner using tora leaves (taikile sanna polo).
Tora leaves fritters - taikile ambado
Heavy rains & some deep fried, hot fritters are a match made in heaven. Who wouldn't love some crispy, crunchy, spicy, hot fritters while it's raining heavily outside? These tora leaves fritters are just that. They're absolutely delicious. Hats off to whoever came up with this dish to be served with the rains. :) These fritters are prepared as a snack or as a starter for lunch and dinner.
These fritters are called taikile ambado in Konkani. Taikile ambado is a Konkani cuisine monsoon special. This rainy season delicacy is also called dangar in Konkani. It is called chagate soppu ambade in Kannada, as tora leaves are called chagate soppu in Kannada.
Preparation Time: 45 minutes
Preparing the masala to make these fritters:
1. Soak rice and toor at least atleast half an hour.
2. Roast urad dal with a few drops of oil until it starts to brown.
3. Add dried red chillies to the pan, when urad dal starts to brown and fry them for a minute.
4. Remove them off heat, keep them aside and let them cool down completely.
5. After half an hour of soaking, wash rice and toor dal well. Drain out all the water completely.
6. Transfer them in to a mixer jar. Grind them along with dried red chillies, fried urad dal, tamarind into a fine paste using as little water as possible. The batter should be very dry.
7. Transfer the ground batter into a bowl.
8. To the ground batter, add semolina, chopped onion, salt, asafoetida powder, finely chopped tora leaves/taikilo and mix well.
Urad dal gives softness to these fritters, semolina and toor dal gives it it's texture, gives a nice crunch & makes them crispy.
Chopped tora leaves:
9. If the final batter is not very dry, you can add some more semolina or rice flour and mix well to get a dry batter.
10. Make small lemon sized balls and flatten them a little using your fingers and deep fry them in oil.
11. Fry them on medium heat, until they are golden brown on both sides.
Medium heat ensures the fritters are evenly cooked. On high flame they tend to get over fried on the outside and remain raw on the inside. On low heat, they tend to take in lot of oil.
12. Remove them from oil, transfer them onto a blotting paper and serve them hot.
Serve them hot as a tea time snack. Or serve them as a starter or as a side dish for lunch, dinner.
1. These crispy fritters can be made with or without using onions.
2. The recipe above can be used to prepare cabbage-onion fritters, drumstick leaves fritters (mashinga sanga palle ambado), vitamin leaves fritters, amarnath leaves fritters (green, dhavi bhajji ambade) in the same way as above. Just substitute tora leaves with the ingredients mentioned in the above recipe to make yummy fritters/ambade's.
Find more fritter (bajo, phodi) recipes here.
Tags: Taikilo, Tora leaves, Taikile pallo, ambado, fritters, monsoon special, Konkani recipe, Konkani dish, Konkani cuisine, Udupi cuisine, Mangalore food, Konkani food.