Bengali Chickpea Vegetable Fritters

Adapted from Silk Road Cooking: A Vegetarian Journey by Najmieh Batmanglij
Total time: 35 minutes
Serves 4


You'll need:

Dipping Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro

Vegetables:

  • 2 Persian cucumbers or pickles, cut into 1/2 by 3-ish inch thick sticks
  • 1/2 lb. firm tofu, cut into 1/2 by-3 inch slices
  • 1 medium carrot, cut into 1/2 by-3 inch slices
  • 1 medium zucchini, cut into 1/2 by-3 inch slices
  • 2 large button mushrooms, but into quarters
  • 1 poblano or bell pepper, but into 1-inch wide wedges
  • 6 fresh sage leaves 

Batter:

  • 2 cups chickpea flour
  • 2 tbsp. rice flour
  • 1 1/2 c. warm water
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 jalapeño chile, seeds and ribs removed and finely chopped
  • 2 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp. sesame seeds (or nigella seeds)
  • 1 tsp. garam masala
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil

For deep frying:

  • 2 cups high-temperature oil for frying



Start by making the dipping sauce. Combine the vinegar and cilantro in a small bowl and set aside.

To make the batter, combine all of the batter ingredients in a large bowl and mix until smooth and thick. Set aside for 20 minutes.

Cut the vegetables into strips as specified above, then use a sieve or fine mesh strainer to dust both sides of all the veggies with rice flour. Keep the various veggie types separated, since you'll be frying one type of vegetable at a time.

Heat the cooking oil in the skillet to 375 degrees and place the Frywall into position. Make sure the bottom of the Frywall is at least 1/2" above the oil line. Place the bowl of batter near the stovetop.

Starting with the largest vegetable type, dip individual veggie pieces into the batter, tap excess batter back into the bowl, and gently lower into the hot oil. When the bottom of fritters are a rich golden brown, flip and fry the other side. Total fry time will vary between 1-5 minutes depending on the veggies. Using a slotted spoon, remove the fritters to a paper towel-lined baking sheet and repeat with the next smallest vegetable.

When all the batches are done, serve on a plate with a ramekin of dipping sauce in the center.

Bon appétit and have a delicious weekend.

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