Monday, May 26, 2014

Another Fry Up!

বেগুনি, পিয়াজু, সবজি বরা ও ইত্যাদি

Vegetable Fritters

Spinach fritters, boxed up and ready to go.

Apologies for being away so long. If you know me personally or through Instagram you'll know that I have still been eating so it may seem inexcusable that I haven't been posting. But this is actually the first uninterrupted week I've been able to spend at home in about two months. In fact, my last post was blogged on the go from my hard drive. But the travelling should be at an end now, and (Britain's excuse for) summer is finally here.

Hopefully for me that'll mean a few days of rest and a few days of good weather. Ramadan is also coming up, so I thought I'd share the recipe for something that we often eat during this time: vegetable fritters. Of course, their consumption isn't limited to Ramadan iftaars. In my grandma's house, they'll often make an appearance at tea or as a snack when we have guests over. On the odd occasion, as leftovers they'll function as a side dish as well.

They're incredibly versatile in the sense that you can pretty much throw any soft vegetable you have in the fridge into some batter and start frying - a very easy snack or appetiser to a multi-course meal. They'll also help contribute to your 5 (7, 9, 11?) a day, but maybe that benefit is nullified by the frying!

  • Spinach, onions, cauliflower or aubergines
  • Maize flour
  • Ground turmeric
  • Salt, to taste

Method (for the aubergine and cauliflower):
  • Chop up the cauliflower into little pieces and slice the aubergine into thin crescents as per the photos below
  • Place the cauliflower in just enough water to cover the vegetables, and until the liquid evaporates. Set aside to cool
  • Form a thin batter of maize flour, salt, warm water and turmeric, as shown below

 On the left, the cauliflower and on the right, the aubergine

  • Drench the vegetables in batter, and then shallow or deep fry until they are golden brown
  • Apologies for the lack of amounts - I tend to make the watery batter first then keep adding vegetables till I've finished it! Usually, half a cup of maize flour seems to be enough for a handful of vegetables with a teaspoon of turmeric

The end result: aubergine fritters which, as a child, were my favourite

Method (for the spinach and onion):
  • Shred the spinach and chop up the onion into little pieces
  • In a bowl, combine the maize flour, salt and turmeric as shown in the photo below
  • Add the spinach and onion, mixing in just enough warm water to form a dry, thick batter that can be manipulated into clumps

Just enough water in the spinach and onion to form clumps

  • Heat some oil in a frying pan and transfer in the vegetable clumps, shallow or deep frying until golden brown

The spinach and onion fritters frying - they have
now supplanted the aubergines as my favourite

  • Again, apologies for the lack of amounts - working with spinach and onion, I've always taken what I had in the fridge, shredded it and added the maize flour to create the right consistency

Additional information:
Serve quickly while the fritters are hot and crispy, accompanied by whatever dips you fancy. Also experiment with any other vegetable that will cook quickly - I've seen Bangladeshi restaurants in the UK go for mushrooms, and I imagine (steamed) courgettes would work too.

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