Serves: Makes about 20-24
These delicious fritters are a bit like pakoras and in fact do make a wonderful accompaniment to a veggie curry but you could also make small versions and serve them as an aperitif. If you like a bit of heat you can up the quantity of chilli powder. They also happen to be gluten and dairy free so perfect for those on a restricted diet. Both gram flour (which is sometimes labelled besan flour or chickpea flour) and coconut flour are widely available in supermarkets and health food shops.
- 1 aubergine, washed and finely diced
- 1 echalion shallot, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh coriander, plus extra for garnish
- 150g gram flour
- 50g coconut flour
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- ½ teaspoon black onion seeds (also called nigella seeds)
- ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
- ¼ teaspoon chilli powder
- ¼ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- About 400ml sparkling water
- About 400ml vegetable oil for frying
- To serve Mango chutney
- Place the diced aubergine in a colander and sprinkle over 1 teaspoon of Maldon sea salt. Leave for 30 minutes then rinse under cold water and pat the aubergine dry. Place in a bowl and add the shallot, garam masala and coriander. Stir everything together and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl place the gram and coconut flours. Stir in the spices and bicarbonate of soda along with a good pinch of salt and some ground black pepper. Whisk in enough sparkling water to form a loose paste. It needs to have the consistency of thick yogurt. Stir in the aubergine mixture.
- Heat the oil in a frying pan to 170˚c or until the temperature is hot enough to brown a cube of bread in about 35-40 seconds. You could use a deep fat fryer in which case you will need more oil. Carefully lower heaped tablespoons of the aubergine mixture into the oil-about 6 at a time. Fry for about 2 minutes then turn over and fry for a further 2 minutes until golden brown on both sides. Lift out the fritters with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. Keep warm in a low oven while you fry the remaining fritters. Sprinkle with a little coriander before serving and have a bowl of mango chutney on the side in which to dip the fritters.