I’ll forgive you for jumping to the conclusion that these are vegetable fritters and therefore they must be boring. I’ve come across some simply dreadful creations in the past. Stodgy, rubbery, bland, mushy. No thank you. These fellows are different. Sure, sure there’s still the bog-standard carrot/zucchini combination. Can’t help that – they grate up a treat and there’s almost always a few floating around the refrigerator. But then things start to get a little more funky. A bland vegetable fritter is the pits. It puts vegetarian cooking to shame. We’re going to spice ‘em up with ground cumin, paprika and fennel seeds. We’re going to bypass dreary old plain flour. Exchange it for something with more excitement factor. Something more nutritious. And that, ladies and gents, is besan flour.
If you’ve been with me from the start (though unless you’re my mother I highly doubt you have – hi mum!), you’ll have come across besan flour in this Sweet Corn Fritter Stack. As you see, using besan flour in fritters isn’t entirely original around these parts. But who cares? It works darn well. Besan flour/gram flour/chickpea flour/whatever you want to call it is essentially flour produces from grinding up chickpeas. It’s far higher in protein than your everyday wheat flours, lower in carbohydrates and provides more iron and fibre. What’s not to like about it?
The combination of besan flour, eggs (two hits of protein in the one innocent fritter, yippee) and vegetables make these an ideal lunchbox filler. I knocked a batch up late Monday afternoon – ‘work lunch’ for the following three days sorted, thank you very much. I’ve also snuck them into cinemas for those awkward runs-over-dinner-sessions, as well as music concerts, but those weird food smuggling habits are by the by for now.
Super duper easy to prepare, with brilliant keeping qualities (up to three days if refrigerated), they can be eaten warm or cold. Jazz ‘em up with a super duper chutney (homemade of course), sweet chilli sauce or tomato sauce if you feel so inclined. However, unlike many of their cousins the saucing is completely optional – these vegetable fritters (and they are fritters, not patties/burgers. There is a difference people.) don’t require drowning in condiments to be classified as edible. Whoopdy doo!
Makes approximately 8 large fritters
1 large carrot, grated
150g butternut squash, grated
200g zucchini, grated
¾ cup besan flour
1 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground paprika
½ tsp fennel seeds, ground with mortar and pestle
½ tsp salt
Good grind black pepper
2 eggs, lightly beaten
Sunflower oil for frying
Squeeze the excess moisture out of the zucchini – it doesn’t matter if it’s still a bit ‘squishy’. Combine with the grated carrot and butternut squash in a large bowl.
In a separate bowl whisk together the besan flour, cumin, paprika, fennel, salt and freshly ground black pepper. Sprinkle this flour mixture over the vegetables and stir until the vegetables are well coated. It will seem to disappear, that’s okay!
Tip in the beaten eggs and stir well to combine. You should now have a wet, almost sloppy mixture.
Place a large frying pan over a medium to high heat. Once hot, add about a tablespoon of oil and swirl to coat the pan. Drop quarter cupful’s of the mixture into the pan and flatten with back of spoon. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until the underside is lightly golden and the edges are beginning to set. Flip over and cook for a further 2-3 minutes. Transfer the cooked fritters to a plate covered in absorbent kitchen paper to drain.
Serve hot or cold, with tomato sauce/sweet chilli sauce if liked.
Will keep for up to 3 days if stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Transports well.
Source: A Taste Without Waste original.