After school tea time snacks, when I was a kid, varied from French pâtisserie to deep fried fritters, not forgetting, when time permitted, Mum's delicious homemade treats. Although we only had these greasy fritters only about once a week, thinking about them today make me cringe. While I do shallow or pan fry occasionally, deep frying is almost non-existent as a means of cooking in my kitchen nowadays. The only time that I do deep fry is when I am make these dal chili cakes that I have yet to develop a baked version for.
Deep fried fritters — (above mentioned) dal chili cakes, bhajis, samoosas, assorted vegetable fritters to mention a few — are sold as a popular street food in Mauritius. Even though they are very much part of the food culture, I cannot bring myself to enjoy them with peace of mind. Food culture or not, I cannot resound to them anymore. A baked version sounds a lot more appealing. And, turns out, they were even tastier.
Baked Vegetable Fritters
Ingredients (about 12 fritters)
5 medium potatoes
3 stems fresh oregano (or other fresh herbs: coriander, parsley, thyme...)
1 tablespoon oat pulp* (or 2 tablespoons chickpea flour)
2 tablespoons chickpea flour (besan)
1 teaspoon Cool Runnings Seafood Seasoning (if you don't have this, use 1 teaspoon dry vegetable bouillon powder, it will taste different but still good)
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast (optional)
Salt to taste
*Oat pulp is the oat fibres that are left after straining oat milk. I keep the pulp to use in many recipes.
- Grate potatoes and carrots, sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt. Let sit for about 10 minutes then squeeze the liquid out.
- Cut mushrooms into very small pieces.
- Mix all the rest of the ingredients.
- Form balls (the size of a pingpong or just slightly larger), flatten.
- Heat a pan with a thin coating of oil. When oil is medium-hot place the patties in the pan. You don't want to overcrowd the pan, so leave some room so that you can easily flip the patties on the other side.
- Pan fry until slightly crisp and golden on either sides.
- Transfer to the oven and bake at 180 degrees Celsius (350 degrees Farenheit) for 35-40 minutes, turning the fritters on the other side after 20 minutes.
Spicy Bean Dipping Sauce
1/2 cup white cannellini beans, boiled (or chickpeas)
1/3 cup water
1 bird eye red chilli (or 1/2 teaspoon of a chilli paste. I use this one)
1/2 teaspoon paprika powder
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast (or 1/2 teaspoon miso paste)
1/4 teaspoon olive oil (or sesame oil if not allergic)
Salt to taste
Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Add water if required to thin out the sauce.
Tip: if you want a quicker version, use ready-made humus with the chilli paste, maple syrup and nutritional yeast (you actually don't need a blender then). Dilute with water to a dipping sauce consistency. This takes the boredom out of humus, although it is probably uncommon to get bored of humus (at least in my case with a low-fat or fat-free homemade version).
On a sidenote, this powerful video, featuring the Allegory of the Long Spoons, reminded me that sometimes we are so busy with our own lives that we forget to realise how much we really need one another in this world. Caring and reaching out for others can only do us good tenfold.