One of my favourite recipe books is a very old and slightly crusty ‘Curry Club’ book called 250 Favourite Curries and Accompaniments that my Mum bought me years ago. I was searching high and low for it earlier as I’m currently suffering from a glut of courgettes, and knew that I’d seen a recipe for spicy fritters in there. But no, it was nowhere to be seen (it’s since turned up, obviously the ‘where the f*ck has that gone?’ gremlin has finished with it now).
Anyhoo, I had a rough idea what do so, along with the help of the BBC Good Food website, which had a similar recipe for courgette fritters (not quite right, the courgettes were sliced), pretty much worked out how to do them. And here they are (with apologies to the people of Northern India, who will no doubt be shaking their heads at my terrible and not very authentic version of one of their best-loved spicy snacks.
You will need:
Several courgettes (of varying sizes and comically rude shapes, if they’re anything like mine)
1 red onion, halved and finely sliced
1 chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
Large pinch salt
2 tsp curry powder (or you can make your own mix of the usual suspects: cumin, coriander, turmeric, chilli, etc)
Chopped fresh coriander (big handful should do it)
150g self raising flour (or, to be more authentic, use half gram flour)*
Grate all the courgettes and place them in a sieve over a bowl. Sprinkle with salt and leave for an hour or two.
You’ll be amazed at how much excess water they give up. Discard the water and place the grated courgette into a bowl.
Add in the onion, chilli, salt, curry powder and coriander, break in the egg, then sprinkle over the flour. Stir it all together as much as you can.
Now slowly add cold water, about a tablespoon at a time, until you’ve got a really thick paste (you’ll probably need around 100ml or so, but judge it by eye).
Leave this to one side while you heat up a wok or large saucepan with a good couple of inches of oil (groundnut is fine). Once the oil is hot (for god’s sake be careful here) – you can test this by popping in a little bit of the batter and seeing if it sizzles – just drop in tablespoons of the batter and fry:
When the first side is a deep golden brown, flip them over in the oil and cook the other side:
Drain on kitchen paper and serve with a nice yoghurt and mint dip, or maybe some mango chutney. Noms.
*Gram flour is made from ground chickpeas and also happens to be gluten free. I didn’t have any, but I’m going to use it next time as I suspect it may give an even crisper result.