January 29, 2009

Phaggila Phodiyo (With a Sulekha Update)

Phaggil and Parval – two vegetables that we didn’t see on a regular basis. Maybe that is why I like them. I get a lot of Parval in Delhi and Gurgaon, and I have cooked it once. S doesn’t really like it. He also doesn’t like Bitter Gourd. So, he didn’t take too kindly to Phaggil either. It looks like bitter gourd. It is even called Jungli Karela in Hyderabad. I found this vegetable in the market many months ago. I brought some home, sliced them and stored them in the freezer. Someday, I thought. Someday.

We had invited two couples home for lunch a couple of weekends ago. I decided to make some vangi bhat, vendakka pachadi, rice, sambar and cabbage karumadhu. At the very last minute, I decided to make use of the contents of my Ziploc bag. So, when I started the preparations, I brought the bag out and let the contents thaw. I figured that even if S doesn’t are much for the vegetable, the others might enjoy it. My hopes were dashed when I served these on the table and one of the guests asked, “Yeh karela hai kya?”(Is this bitter gourd?) and S promptly replied, “Haan.”(Yes) I quickly said, “Nahin, yeh karela nahin hai. Ise jungli karela kehte hain.” (No, this is not bitter gourd. This is called Wild Bitter Gourd.) And then S went on to say something like, “It’s the same thing.” That did it. A couple of the guests didn’t even want to touch it. But hey, I don’t get phaggil everyday and I don’t deep fry everyday. So, if my guests didn’t eat it, it is a good thing (for me, that is). A couple of them did try it and maybe they liked it. Even S said, “Hey, this is not bitter at all.”

1 cup Phaggil, sliced

2 tsp Chilli Powder
1 tsp Turmeric Powder
1/4 tsp Asafoetida
1 tbsp Rice Flour
Oil for frying
Salt to taste

Place the phaggil slices on a plate and apply the salt, chilli powder, turmeric powder and asafoetida. Keep aside for 10 minutes.

Heat the oil in a kadhai.

Sprinkle the rice flour over the phaggil pieces and make a coating of sorts. Deep fry the pieces in the oil and drain on a paper towel.

Serve with some rice,

dali-saar and any masla randeyi and make it a complete amchi meal.

Here's an update on the Sulekha issue:

I got an email from the lady in member relations:

Dear Arundhati Raghavan,

Thanks for the mails.

I would like to inform that based on your report & our investigations; that your blogs were plagiarized by our member “AndhraMirchi” I have deleted all blogs and the blogger completely from Sulekha’s records.

In regards to “saraamulu”. I’m sorry I can’t take action immediately because most of my technical team are away for their vacation’s; Monday being a holiday for the republic day. Please give me a week’s time to check, assess and delete. Meanwhile I request you to please send me a few links that have been plagiarized by saraamulu. I’m sorry for the inconvenience caused. Have a nice weekend.

Warm regards,


I have sent them this email and shall wait patiently for the week to end:

Dear Neha,

I hope you had a good weekend. I also hope that your technical staff is back from vacation.

Here's an update from my side.

I still find my photograph on this page:

The content on this page: is still what it was earlier. Saraamulu still seems to be a member.

The photograph on this page: is mine.

The photograph on this page: is also mine.

This photo: is also mine. Please let me know when all my content will be removed.




FH said...

I don't recognize that veggie, Raaga. But stir fry dish looks amazing! :))

Glad something is happening there at Sulekha and they are atleast responding!

Navita (Gupta) Hakim said...

Hey long time no dropped by to say hi. :)

I know the vegetable..we call it kunru i think. Anyways I love it , n ur recipe sounds yum.

Also m proud of u to hve finally gained justice...atleast the process has begun. We bloggers need to stick by each other. :)

Finla said...

Atleas there are taking some action.Will see if they remove the whole lot.
When i saw the pic i thought it was bittergourd.
You had written it is wild one.
I don't like bittergourd too, but the only time i liked them was when mom fried them like these.

Seeta said...

hey arundhati, who are you?

I have been reading your blog for quite sometime now and really like it :)
read your konkani recipies and realized how similar yet different goa and "amchi" dishes are :) names so similar but preparations vary here and there.. for e.g for phagal phodiyo or any other phodiyi we marinate the veg roll it in sooji and shallow fry.. :)

Seeta said...

hey arundhati, who are you?

I have been reading your blog for quite sometime now and really like it :)
read your konkani recipies and realized how similar yet different goa and "amchi" dishes are :) names so similar but preparations vary here and there.. for e.g for phagal phodiyo or any other phodiyi we marinate the veg roll it in sooji and shallow fry.. :)

Seeta said...

mean to say HOW areyou and not WHO are you :P

CurryLeaf said...

Yum Phaggil is not a favourite of mine,but as a phodi I relish it.I love phodis including the kadgi ones.Mouthwatering dear.
Thanks for the update.Lets wait and see what action they take after their vacation-it could just be another trick.Unless they do it do not believe it.

Cham said...

I ve never seen such a veggie. The fry looks like crispy... Only some work is done by Sulekha, let's hope they remove the links...

sra said...

I know this phaggil - we call it AAkaakarakaya in Telugu, while the ordinary bitter gourd is called kaakarakaya :-) Good for you nobody really cared for it - I'd have been happy too!

Laavanya said...

My husband doesn't like bittergourd either but if it's fried then he'll eat it up in no time.. yes.. if they don't like it, more for you :)

Varsha Vipins said...

I usually make this yum with some curd..:)
Sorry to hear abt the plagiarism issues..

Anonymous said...

Hey Arundhati,

very proud of you for standing up for integrity. I wonder what are these people trying to accomplish with such silly acts.

Everyone should be intolerant to such acts.

suvi said...

you go after them raaga! don't like bittergourd either, though yours looks yum enough to slowly start to breakdown my resistance to it :)

Unknown said...


my mom used to make the same with bitter gourd. Only difference is that she also adds little tamarind extract to reduce the bitterness...

Feeling hostalgic now...

The picture itself is inviting to eat ..may be since all your post contains very yummy pictures..people steal it...

Take it as a compliment and good that you took action against the fraud!!

We all are with you!!

Keep cooking!!

Raaga said...

@Ashakka: This also goes by the name of kantola. :-) I have bigger updates on sulekha... in my next post.

@Navita: Hi!! Yes, it is a long time. The ivy gourd or tendli is kunru... :-) this is a different vegetable.

Raaga said...

@HC: This is not bitter gourd and is not bitter :-)

@Seets: I figured :-) though I did reread it. I need some phone numbers... got to call you guys... Someone called Pooja also does goan cooking and she was telling me about the rava-shallow fry thing. Should try :-) I've only seen fish fry like that ;-)

Raaga said...

@CurryLeaf: I love all phodis too :-) who doesn't... bring them on :)

@Cham: Thanks :-)

@Sra: I will tell S that. Armed with 2 telugu names, he can't say tell me they're the same :-)

Raaga said...

@Laav: If you find this veggie... try this :-)

@Varsha: :-) it is yum, no doubt

@Here it is: Do come back for an update tomorrow.

Raaga said...

@Aqua: This is not bittergourd... it is similar, not bitter etc :)

@Akeelu: Thanks

Anonymous said...

Hi! I have recently moved to your city. I have been reading your blog and trust me I find your recipes simple and at the same time tasty which you could easily try in your kitchen. Could you please help me in letting me know from where do you buy ur foil dishes and muffin cups for baking purpose.You can write me to Thanks. pari.

Seeta said...

hey.. i'll mail you :)

btw Prads says hello :)

Rajitha said...

Junglee Karela...dontcha love names like this....and glad u are getting stuff resolved..tho things take their own sweet time and it is annoying when u realise that thigs are not moving despite of them stating that action is being taken!!
How are you doing? Hope u had a good new year :)

Divya Kudua said...

Phagilla phodiyo...I miss having it so much.I've never come across this in Chennai..bring truckloads when we go to Blr..I simply love this and can have this all by itself..lucky that your guests left the whole batch for you..;-)

Sunshinemom said...

I have seen this but never tried as I am not fond of karela! Someone in office told me this is not bitter, and now that you say it, I will definitely try it if I see this again!!

Cheffie-Mom said...

I always enjoy coming to your blog, because you use the most interesting veggies in your recipes! Thank you!

Namrata Kini said...

I love phagil, parval as well as bittergourd but hubby doesn't prefer bitter gourd. I recently purchased the frozen phaggil available as Kantola(Indian gourd) in Indian stores in US. Hope this may help Asha and others in recognizing the vegetable.
Lovely phodi Raaga.

Joie de vivre said...

I have never seen these before! When I first saw the picture, I thought it was some sort of sea urchin! Thanks so much for visiting my blog! :)

Anonymous said...

Any updates?

Anamika:The Sugarcrafter said...

Hi raaga,
sometimes its good to make the vegetables that are so rarely available but at the end what matters is taste..i am sure the tatse must be very, too we find some vegetable that are not avaiable in India but love the taste.....loved your pumpkin walnut soup as well.

Uj said...

Raaga.. love phagla phodi.. missing ti so much :(Never knew it was called jungli Karela..

Aparna Balasubramanian said...

I've nevr heard of or seen this phaggil vegetable. But I do (and am the only one here) like bitter gourd.

Anonymous said...

Hi Raaga, Liked your was so informative. I did not know this wild bittergourd existed. Also noted that you had taken action for the plagiarism that keeps happening all around. Hope you were able to solve the issue to your satisfaction. Glad you posted the letters here. Cheers

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