Crispy snake gourd is fried in rice flour batter coated with less home spices.Pithau  which you will find in only odia cuisine. If we go traditional,then pithau means  raw rice soaked in water for 1 hour and blend it in Sil Batta(stone mortar) to form a fine paste.The paste is slight thick,which we can be store in refrigerator for 4 to 5 days.

But now a days Sil Batta replaced with blender and some use rice flour instead of soaked rice.

The rice paste blended with mild spices  render to the fried  snake gourd more crispy and crunchy. This is a typical way of cooking in odia food only instead of using besan/corn flour .

soaked rice with mild spices
soaked rice with mild spices

Always soak rice,cumin seeds,cloves,red chilies,ginger in little water.I have prepared it, with out onion garlic.Someone can use onion and garlic also.

Badi potala/snake gourd
Badi potala/snake gourd

In odia we call it Badi potala where badi means back yard and potala means gourd/parwal.They easily growing in garden rather than  parval/striped gourd .They cultivated  curved and oddly shaped which appear like snakes hanging on the supports.Its always curious for my daughter why we call it as snake gourd.Even she doesn’t like to eat it for such name.

Although she doesn’t like snake gourd,but funny thing is that she loves crispy snake gourd unaware of what  it is.:)

peeled snake gourd@DELIGHTSUM
peeled snake gourd@DELIGHTSUM

Always wash thoroughly and peel  the skin of the veggie using a peeler.You can cut them into different shapes but they should be slightly thick in size.

circular pieces snake gourd@DELIGHTSUM
circular pieces snake gourd@DELIGHTSUM

Trim the edges and cut them into circular shapes.

cut vertically snake gourd@DELIGHTSUM
cut vertically snake gourd@DELIGHTSUM

Trim the edges,slit them vertically.Again cut into small pieces as shown in the  picture.

Marinate in salt @DELIGHTSUM
Marinate in salt @DELIGHTSUM

There are two ways of preparing the Bhaja

method 1:Take snake gourd piece in a large bowl , sprinkle 1 tsp salt and combine nicely  and keep it for half an hour.Discard the excess water.It will soft the pieces and take less time to cook.

Half Boiled snake gourd@DELIGHTSUM
Half Boiled snake gourd@DELIGHTSUM

method 2: Boil snake goud pieces in 1/2 cup of water with 1/2 tsp salt.Boil over medium flame around 1 minute and discard the water.Allow it to cool.

soaked in batter@DELIGHTSUM
soaked in batter@DELIGHTSUM

Now add 1/2 cup of water into the rice paste.Add turmeric,garam masala and prepare a slight thin batter.We have already added salt in snake gourd pieces ,so while adding salt in batter taste it once.

Now soak  pieces of snake gourd into the batter.


Heat oil in a griddle or tawa.Spread 1 or 2 tsp oil over it. Now place the snake gourd pieces over the hot pan.


Cook on medium flame or low flame for 1 minute and turn it upside..You can drizzle some more oil over it.Press the fried pieces using a flat spoon to remove excess water from the pieces,so that it will be more crispy.Fry until both the sides are crispy and brown.


yield : servings 4

prep time : 1 hr

total time 1 hr 20 mins

things we need to prepare

  • 2 to 3 snake gourds/badi potala
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • garam masala
  • oil
  • water

preparation pithau/rice paste batter

  • 1/2 cup rice (any rice,but arua chaula/chawal goes batter for pithau)
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 small ginger
  •  3 to 4 garlic cloves -optional
  • 1 medium onion -optional
  • 2 to 3 cloves
  • 5 to 6 green chilies

Clean and rinse the rice thoroughly.Soak all in half cup of water for 1 hour.Strain the water  and blend in a blender to form a fine paste using little strained water.

In a bowl,pour the prepared rice paste,turmeric,garam masala ,salt and slight water to make a slight thin batter.Keep it a side.


Wash thoroughly and remove the skin of the snake gourds.Trim edges and cut them into small vertical  or circular pieces.

Method 1

You can soak snake gourd pieces in 1/2 tsp of salt for 15 minutes and then discard the water.

Method 2

Else boil them in half cup of water along with half tsp of salt.Boil for 2 to 3 minutes over medium flame.When the pieces are soft slightly or half done ,discard the water and let it cool.

Now soak  pieces in prepared batter. Heat tawa /griddle spread 2 tsp of oil.Place snake gourd pieces on hot tawa.Cook for 1 minute on lower medium flame .Turn it and drizzle some more oil.Fry until both the sides are get crispy and brown.

Serve hot with steamed rice and dal.

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