Much like Japan’s tempura, these East Indian fritters are made by dipping whole or sliced vegetables into a chickpea flour batter and fried until crisp. Incredibly delicious, we learned quickly there are not likely to be leftovers when we make this dish for dinner!
Almost any fresh vegetable can be used to make these fritters – we have tried cauliflower florets, sliced onions and potatoes, whole green beans, mushrooms and shishito peppers. These fritters are best eaten while they are hot and crisp – so we enjoy them as vegetable fritter “courses” – eating each batch as it is fried.
1 ½ cups chickpea (garbanzo bean) flour
¾ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon ground cumin
¾ teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
¼ teaspoon ground white or black pepper
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper – add more, or less, to your taste!
1 to 2 cups sunflower or safflower oil for frying
Local, seasonal fresh vegetables for frying – some suggestions are below
· Yellow or red potato, cut into 1/8-inch think rounds
· While, yellow or red onion, cut into 1/8-inch think rounds
· Sweet potato or yam, cut into 1/8-inch think rounds
· Cauliflower flowerets, cut to desired size
· Broccoli flowerets, cut to desired size
· Whole green beans
· Small sweet, medium, or hot peppers
· Mushrooms, whole or sliced
Mix the chickpea flower, salt, baking soda and spices together in a bowl. Slowly add 1 ¼ cups warm water, mixing with a fork or whisp until you have a smooth batter.
Heat oil in a wok or other deep pan over medium flame/heat until between 350F-375F. We like to use our cast iron wok and cook outside on our gas camp stove – which is helpful since deep frying can result in smoke and oil splatters.
Choose a vegetable to start frying, put slices into the batter and lift out with your fingers, let extra batter drip into back into the bowl. Place battered vegetables on baking dish or cookie sheet. Put a single layer of vegetables in the hot oil. Fry until golden brown and crisp, turning vegetables over with a metal spatula as needed. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on plate covered with paper towels. Begin eating immediately! Continue this process until you run out of vegetables or batter. If needed, add more oil for frying.
After you are done cooking, let the remaining oil cool. Remove any batter pieces from the cooled oil with a slotted spoon or by straining through a tightly woven colander. Pour oil into a glass jar with a lid. Store in the refrigerator (up to a week) to use for your next batch of fritters.
If you do have leftovers, they are best reheated under the broiler (we use the broiler in our toaster oven) – they won’t be as crisp (and may even be a little soggy), though they will retain their great flavor.
If you don’t have a wok or toaster oven, visit your local thrift store. You might find these items used, in great condition and at a great price.
Recipe type #maindish