I always love fritters, fritter of all kind – shrimps, fish, sweet potato, green beans, you name it! I remember when I was a kid, I often found street vendors selling sweet potato fritters. They were the best fritters I remember, when you take a bite, your teeth first encounter the light and crunchy batter then they sink into a soft and sweet flesh. This is something that I remember so well, a great memory of my childhood.
The important element of a good fritter is the batter, if you do it right, you will get fritters that are not greasy, but crunchy and full of flavour. A trick to make the batter light is to add sparkling water instead of normal water. Make sure the oil for deep-frying is hot enough and not to overcrowd the pan with vegetables so the batter won’t get greasy. I use chickpea flour for the batter so it is not only gluten free, but also packed with nutrient such as vitamins and minerals. It will make a great snack and finger food for children.
In this recipe, I add a little spice to the batter to enhance the flavor of the cauliflower. The curry yogurt dip compliments the veggies and gives the whole dish a very fresh taste. You can use any vegetable you and your child like, or a mixture of colorful vegetables, the choices are unlimited! Next time I will make an Asian version, served with sweet soy dip, hmm…
(serves 3-4 as a snack/starter)
For the cauliflowers:
- 1 medium head of cauliflower, cut into small florets
- 1 small carrot, sliced (optional)
- 1 cup chickpea flour
- 5 tbsp. potato starch
- 1 1/4 -1 1/2 cup cold sparkling water
- Pinch of salt
- ½ tsp. sweet smoked paprika
- ½ tsp. ground cumin
- Vegetable oil for deep-frying
For the curry yogurt dip:
- 1 cup plain yogurt
- 3 tsp. mild curry powder
- A squeeze of lemon juice
- 1 tsp. honey (or more to taste)
- Salt to taste
First prepare the batter: In a large bowl, combine chickpea flour, potato starch, salt, paprika and ground cumin, then slowly add in sparkling water, mix well until smooth, the batter should be quite thin (if the batter seems too thick then add a little bit water to thin it down). Set aside for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the yogurt dip by combining all ingredients. Give it a taste and add in more salt or honey to your liking.
Blanch the cauliflowers and carrot (if used) in a saucepan with salted boiling water for 1 minute (not longer!), and then drain in a colander. Let it slightly cool off. (If you use other vegetables such as bell pepper, green bean etc., then you can skip this step)
Heat oil in a deep pan or in a wok – you need about at least 3cm deep of oil. Line a couple of plates with kitchen papers, test the oil by dropping a drop of batter into the hot oil; if the batter sizzles immediately, then the oil is ready (or temperature registers 190 degrees Celsius).
Dip a few pieces of cauliflower into the batter and put them well coated one by one into the oil. Fry for about 2 minutes, turn once, or until the fritters turn slightly golden. Use chopsticks or slotted spoon to lift the cooked veggies on the prepared plates for about a minute and then remove to the serving plate. Continue to cook with the remainder of the cauliflowers. The fritters are best eaten while still warm and served with the curry yogurt dip.