The town I live in is pretty small and rural. In fact, if you go down the street and make a left you'll run into a cattle farm. To push my point even further, we were a dry county (no beer or alcohol sales allowed) until just about a month ago. It's just a nice, small, old-fashioned kinda town. While we do love living here, sometimes we miss living in a bigger city with all it's conveniences.
However, just last week our little town had a grand opening for a brand new very fancy grocery store. I was beyond ecstatic! For four years I've been running to the "city", which is 30 minutes away, to get all my special hard-to-find grocery items. Now all those special ingredients are right at my fingertips. All I have to do is go down the street and make a left when I see the cattle farm. It's literally minutes away.
My neighbors are laughing at me because I've been to the new grocery store every day since they've opened. I know you all understand. I can't believe that here, in what feels like the middle of nowhere, we now have a grocery store that has a sushi bar, and get this....a cupcake bar. You can literally make your own cupcake. Can I just tell you that this grocery store sells everything? Heck, they even sell whole (skinned and deboned) frogs! Crazy, huh?
So anyway, I've basically been stalking the place with big wide eyes full of wonder. It's safe to say that I've spent way too much money buying up all the ingredients that I've been dying to get my hands on all these years.
Chickpea flour, or besan, is one of the ingredients that I've been searching for until now. Chickpea flour can be used for many things, but what I've been wanting to make with it lately are these savory and totally addicting onion fritters.
The batter for these fritters consists chickpea flour, egg, four different spices, green chile, and fresh cilantro. The batter rests for awhile so that it has a chance to soak up all the great added flavors. The diced onion is thrown in at the last minute right before frying. These fritters are okay on their own, but magic happens when you dunk them in this Fresh Green Chutney. The chutney is fresh from the addition of mint and cilantro, tangy from the yogurt, and a little bit acidic from the lemon juice. It is a perfect pairing. I served these as an appetizer prior to serving Jaffrey's Delicious Chicken Bits that I posted here last month. If you're looking for a new way to prepare your chicken, please try those chicken bits. They are absolutely incredible!
Onion Fritters with Fresh Green Chutney
1 large egg
4 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 cup chickpea flour (also called besan)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 fresh, hot green chile, finely chopped (do not remove seeds)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
vegetable oil, for frying
1 medium-large onion, peeled and chopped into medium-size dice
Break the egg into a bowl and beat well. Add the water and the lemon juice. Mix. Add in the chickpea flour and mix well with a whisk. Put in the salt, cayenne pepper, garam masala, cumin seeds, ground cumin, turmeric, green chile, and cilantro. Mix well and set aside for at least 10 minutes. Mix again with a whisk. The batter should be of a droppable consistency.
Put the oil in a wok or deep fryer and set over medium heat. You should have at least 3 inches of oil in the center of the wok. When the oil is hot, put the onion into the batter and mix. (This should always be done just before frying). Remove heaping teaspoons of the batter and drop it into the hot oil. Use up all the batter this way. Stir and fry the fritters for 7 to 8 minutes or until they are golden red. Remove the fritters with a slotted spoon and drain on a plate lined with paper towels. Serve hot, as soon as the fritters are made.
Fresh Green Chutney
6 tablespoons plain yogurt
2 heaping tablespoons coarsely chopped mint
2 heaping tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/3 teaspoon salt or to taste
Put 2 tablespoons of the yogurt and the mint, cilantro, lemon juice, and salt into the container of an electric blender and blend until smooth, pushing down with a rubber spatula if necessary.
Put the remaining 4 tablespoons of yogurt into a bowl and beat lightly. Add the paste from the blender. Stir to mix.
This chutney may be stored, covered, in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days.
|Eat 'em all up til they're gone!|
|Theme: Relishes, Chutneys and Pickles|