Follow Me On…


Sep 292015
Tsunth Monji - Green Apple Fritters

Tsunth Monji - Green Apple Fritters

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.

Tsunth Monji - Green Apple Fritters-13

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.

Tsunth Monji - Green Apple Fritters-13

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.

Tsunth Monji - Green Apple Fritters-17

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

Savory Dishes:

Sweet Dishes:

Tsunth Monji – Green Apple Fritters

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 )


  1. Core the apples. Slice each apple into 8 to 9 slices.
  2. Keep the apple slices in the bowl of water to prevent discoloration while you get the oil hot and mix the batter.
  3. Heat oil in a medium kadai ( preferably ) or any heavy bottom deep saute pan. ( use medium heat)
  4. 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.
  5. Put the flour for dredging on a plate.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.

Mar 152012



Most Indians have a thing about overcast skies and fritters and chai. Deep fried goodness of flour coated vegetables, chillies, or fish is much loved on most days. But when it rains, this thing that we have for all things fritters takes a heady turn. Sort of like a dull, pleasing yearning. We crave for chai and pakode. I don’t know why, but we do.

There is a warm comfort in holding a steamy cup of chai or the kashmiri Kehwa , indulging in the crunch of the fritter and watching the rain through the window or sitting out in the balcony if you are lucky to have one.

My favorite memories of eating fritters are with my daughter. We lived in Hyderabad (India) and our rains arrived in June and lasted till late September. She would play in the rain with her friends, get soaked to the bone, jump in the little puddles, make a muddy mess and beautiful memories. She would then come home ( not voluntarily) and order a hot chocolate with cheese-balls. Dollops of Amul cheese, floured and breaded and deep fried. The devotion with which she would eat those is etched in my heart.

Her 5 year old just showered self, rosy cheeks from all the playing and the shine in her eyes. Those were the perfect days for her. And every once a while now and then, she would request a batch for her friends. One? Two ? No… All 16 of them. Aged between 4 and 8 .. they all played together in the apartment complex, so they were all friends. And they would all come over to eat cheese-balls. I am not sure if it was the cheese-balls or the fact that they all could play a little while longer that motivated them. But it was a very endearing sight.

So you see, we teach them young – the flavors of all things deep fried and then we go on to have a thing or two with rains and chai and pakode.


This Alaskan Cod Fritters recipe  is my take on the Indian machli pakoda ( fish fritter). It was raining. There was a tornado warning . The sky was .  furious and I did not have the usual vegetables to make fritters .  But I was not stepping out. Oh but I had the craving and it was urging me to be creative.

Checked the freezer – cod fillets .. good

Checked the fridge – left over chutney – excellent, yogurt – nice

Checked the pantry – Oil, Besan ( chickpea flour ), Tahini – things are getting interesting

Checked the spice cabinet : Za’atar, sumac, cumin … .. and a plethora of other herbs and spices.. alright I gave in. 

The result of all this consulting with the different departments in my kitchen was amazing. A fish pakoda with a Mediterranean twist. It was soul satisfying if I may say so myself.


Alaskan Cod Fritters – Mediterranean Inspired With a Cilantro Mint Tahini Dip


    Fish Fritter
  • 1/4 cup Besan (Chick pea flour)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon Za'atar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon sumac (optional)
  • oil (for frying)
  • 1/4 teaspoon Cayenne
  • Tahini Dip
  • 1 tablespoon Tahini
  • 2 heaped tablespoons greek yogurt (or any plain yogurt)
  • 2 teaspoons Mint Cilantro Chutney


    Fish fritter
  1. Mix the salt, cayenne,cumin, Zaatar, sumac (if using), salt and besan in a bowl.
  2. Add the water and make a batter. It should be thick enough to coat the fish
  3. Slice the fish in fingers and dip it in the batter and coat each piece well
  4. Heat oil to about 375* F . If the temperature is hotter, the fish will not cook through and if it is lesser than 350* it will absorb a LOT of oil
  5. Fry the fish fingers in the oil - a few at a time. The frying will be done in one or two batches based on how big a pan you use. Smaller pan means lesser oil wasted after frying, but more batches of frying. which works for me.
  6. 6. fry for a couple of minutes on each side, until golden and crisp
  7. 7. scoop out , drain on a paper towel.
  8. Tahini Dip
  9. 8. Mix the yogurt, tahini and chutney together and the dip is ready.
  10. 9. Serve the dip with the fresh fried Cod fritters.

 Posted by on March 15, 2012 at 11:16 PM  Tagged with: ,