Thursday, March 08, 2007
INDIAN-SPICED VEGETABLE FRITTERS WITH CURRY-LIME YOGURT
So, did I mention how much I love fritters? Oh yes. If this mania keeps up, I’m going to have to make “fritters” its own recipe category in the sidebar.
This recipe is from my new fave site The Smitten Kitchen. The original description, accompanied by mouthwatering photos, is here. My own, sadly less gorgeously illustrated, commentary has little to add. Everything went smoothly when I made these last Thursday night. When I tried to grate the onion on my sturdy but cheap grater (which I believe I bought using leftover food-service points at the little convenience store in my college cafeteria 10 years ago), the onion dissolved into goo, so I minced it finely with a knife—and added a note to the recipe reminding myself to do this next time. My only other changes were to divide the quantities in half (the original recipe promised to make 24 fritters, which seemed overwhelming—my halved version made 8 slightly larger ones, just the right amount for supper for A and me) and to eliminate the step of keeping the finished fritters warm in the oven while the others are frying. It’s a nice thought and all, but since the halved recipe makes just two frying batches, it didn’t seem that necessary. A wasn’t enthused at the thought of washing a baking sheet, and besides, lukewarm fritters are easier to eat at ravenous speed.
These are definitely the most loosely constructed fritters in my recipe repertoire—on the opposite end of the spectrum from the pancake-like zucchini, ham, and ricotta fritters of a few weeks ago. Getting the vegetable pieces to hang together in cakes was in fact a bit of a challenge, especially when I started getting impatient with the second batch(my number-one flaw as a cook—I’m just too hungry!) and flipping them over in the pan too early, creating an interesting fritter-hash in some cases. This is not really a problem for me, though. No matter what shape they ended up in, the fritterbits tasted as great as the whole ones. I liked that the vegetables (a cheerful, colorful, healthy mix of them) were the focus, instead of being just flecks in a batter. The Indian spices are a nice, savory twist, as was the curry-lime yogurt, though I could probably have devoured the fritters quite happily without it (as we all know, I’m just not a condiment person).
A thoroughly enjoyed these also, so much that he forgot to complain about the presence of the hated peas. Though Indian-spiced vegetable fritters may won’t depose zucchini fritters from their cherished place in our hearts, I expect them to be welcomed into regular menu rotation.
¼ cup frozen peas, defrosted
1 small onion, peeled
1 small russet potato, peeled
1 small yam or sweet potato, peeled
1 medium carrot, peeled
1 small zucchini
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon ground coriander
¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
½ teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup plain yogurt
1 teaspoon curry powder
½ teaspoon sugar
Several squeezes of fresh lime juice, to taste
salt and pepper to taste
1. Using a box grater, coarsely grate onion (you may have to mince onion using a knife unless your grater is very sharp), potatoes, carrot, and zucchini and place in a colander in the sink to drain.
2. In a large mixing bowl, lightly beat eggs. Whisk in flour, coriander, turmeric, and cumin. Mix in ginger, cilantro, and peas.
3. Gently press vegetables in colander to extract excess liquid, then add to bowl. Season mixture with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Using a wooden spoon or your hands, mix well but do not overwork.
4. In a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, heat 1–2 tablespoons olive oil until hot but not smoking. Drop 4 scant ¼-cup portions of vegetable mixture into pan and flatten with spatula to form 3-inch pancakes. Fry until bottoms are golden brown and pancake holds together, about 4–5 minutes, then flip over and fry until golden-brown and crisp, an additional 4–5 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain; season immediately with salt and pepper.
5. Repeat Step 4 until all batter is used (you should have 8–12 fritters total).
6. Mix curry-lime yogurt ingredients together in a small bowl. Serve fritters with dollops of yogurt.
Time: 30-40 minutes