Monday, 11 May 2009

Spicy Chickpea Fritters

At a recent lunch to the vibrant bijou salad bar Ottolenghi in Islington, I was reminded of my love of gram flour.  Gram or besan is chickpea flour.  It is used widely in India, Iran and Italy.  Cheap and plentiful, it is healthful and a very tolerant flour.  Tolerant in that it dosn't seem to mind if you put too much liquid in it, or not enough; it just still seems to do it's thing and always comes up trumps.

I favour this flour for pakoras, where a batter mixture of gram flour, salt, tumeric, ground coriander, cumin seeds, chili powder, salt and water to a thick pancake mixture consistency.  Then thinly slice whatever you want - potato, aubergine, onion, mushroom, cauliflower florets and so on, dip into the batter and deep fry.  Drain and serve.  Delicious with a raita.

In northern India they make a type of roti, called missi roti, which is gram flour with finely chopped green chili, tumeric, cumin, seasoning and maybe a bit of finely chopped onion, some melted ghee.  Water is added to a dough and then rolled to a pancake and fried in hot ghee.  

The other benefit of this flour is that it is gluten free.

Tonight I made fritters instead of the pakoras and I was carefully noting down my measurements tonight so can report the proportions as being the following, but I would recommend that you trust yourself and don't measure.   Especially as I said that gram flour is very forgiving.


Serves 2
  • 2 small courgette or 1 large grated
  • 3 spring onions sliced small
  • 1 large clove of garlic chopped
  • small handful of chopped coriander leaves
  • 50 gms gram flour
  • 20 gms rice flour
  • 1tsp salt
  • half tsp corriander ground
  • half tsp cumin seeds
  • half tsp tumeric
  • quarter tsp chili powder
  • Sunflower oil for shallow frying
  • Raita (plain yogurt, garlic, spring onion, fresh coriander, grated cucumber, seasoning).
  1. Add the dry ingredients together.
  2. Combine with the grated courgette, chopped spring onion, garlic and coriander.
  3. Add water until it is thick and sticking together.
  4. Heat the sunflower oil until hot and fry dessert spoonfuls until crispy each side.
  5. Drain on kitchen paper and serve with raita and salad.

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