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Vegetable Fritters

Serves: Makes 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients:

  • Ginger and Mint Yogurt Sauce
  • 2 cups chickpea flour
  • teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1½ teaspoons coarse salt
  • 1 small fresh green chile, halved, seeded, and finely chopped, or more to taste
  • ½ cup finely chopped yellow onion
  • ½ cup frozen peas, thawed
  • ¼ cup peeled, coarsely shredded carrot
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • Canola oil, for frying


Procedures:

In India, these crisp, full-flavored fritters are known as pakora. They get their distinctive taste and texture from chickpea flour (besan), which can be purchased in health-food stores or wherever Indian products are sold. A small amount of baking soda gives the batter a little lift, and the generous addition of spices will make it either flavorful or hot and spicy, depending on which ones you select. There are two types of pakora: large pieces of vegetable are dipped into batter and dropped into hot oil, or finely cut vegetables are stirred into batter and then dropped from a spoon into hot oil. This recipe makes the latter type. If you decide to add chiles to the batter, serve the spicy fritters with a cooling raita of Ginger Mint Yogurt Sauce.
  1. Prepare the Ginger and Mint Yogurt Sauce. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.


  2. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, garam masala, and salt until blended.


  3. With a wooden spoon, beat in water ¼ cup at a time until the batter is thick enough to drop off the tip of the spoon in clumps. You will need about ¾ cup of water total. Let the batter stand for 15 minutes.


  4. Add the chile, onion, peas, carrot, and cilantro to the batter and fold gently to distribute all of the ingredients evenly.


  5. Pour the canola oil to a depth of 2 to 3 inches into a karahi, wok, or 6-quart Dutch oven, and heat over medium-high heat to 350°F on a deep-frying thermometer. Line a rimmed sheet pan or a tray with a thick layer of paper towels.


  6. With a tablespoon, scoop up a 1½-inch clump of the batter. Holding the spoon near the surface of the hot oil, use the tip of a second spoon to push the batter into the oil. Alternatively, use a 1½-inch spring-loaded ice-cream scoop to scoop up and release the batter into the oil. Repeat until there are 3 or 4 fritters in the oil, and then fry, turning the fritters occasionally with the tip of a spoon so they cook evenly, for 3 to 5 minutes, until golden brown. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the fritters to the towellined pan to drain. Repeat until all the batter has been used.


  7. Serve the fritters immediately while they are still piping hot, or drain and keep warm on a rimmed sheet pan in a 300°F oven until ready to serve.

by Sur La Table & Andrews McMeel Publishing

 
 
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