Monday, January 19, 2009

Indian carrot fritters

This recipe was inspired by Stephanie Alexander's Cook's Companion, which has proved invaluable for when Aldrum presents me with a basket overflowing with the latest bumper crop and I'm left to find a use for it. And boy did we have a bumper crop of carrots.

I have found carrots somewhat boring in the past, until Stephanie kindly suggested Indian Carrot Fritters. As always, I use recipes as inspiration, so the recipe below is more of a guide than a strict set of instructions.

They make a nice addition to a platter of nibbles or as part of a main meal and can be adapted to suit whatever flavours you have on hand. Just last night I did a version replacing the Indian spices with feta, thyme and lemon zest and gave it a yoghurt and tahini dressing. You can basically use the batter as a base and add whatever grated vegies, spices or herbs you have at hand.

Indian Carrot Fritters

2 cups carrot, grated (2-3 large carrots or 5 small)
1 1/2 cups plain flower
1 tsp turmeric
1 tbs curry powder
1 tsp coriander seeds, crushed
3 spring onions, chopped
3 dried chillies, crushed (or more if you like the heat)
1 tsp ginger, finely grated
1/2 to 1 cup of beer (home brew in our case!)
1 egg
1 handful of coriander, roughly chopped (mint is good here too)
vegetable oil for frying
salt to taste

Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl (reserving some of the coriander for garnish). Add the egg and mix well. Add the beer until the mixture has the consistency of thick, lumpy pancake batter.

Heat a frying pan on med-high and add enough oil to coat the bottom. When the oil is hot, drop dessert spoonfuls of the batter into the pan. Allow to cook for about 3-5 minutes before turning and repeat on the other side.

Sprinkle with the remaining coriander or mint leaves and a drizzle of lemon-tanged yoghurt.

Homegrown ingredients: carrots, garlic, spring onions, lemon, mint, egg, beer.

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