Sunday, August 23, 2015
I crave for fried food. I think I am addicted to fritters. Or, may be, it is my Bengali gene that is responsible for this addiction. Lame excuse? Trying to evade the responsibility for my own deed/folly? Well, visit Kolkata, or any place in West Bengal for that matter! On every street, lane and by-lane you will find since early evening seven days a week one or more, more likely, busy shops selling various types of fritters: onion-, potato-, eggplant- , pumpkin-, coriander leaves- (and other leaves) fritters, and samosa, and vegetable chop (cutlet), even banana flower fritters, and the non-veg ones like fish-, chicken-, mutton-, shrimp cutlets, what not. You have to make your way shoving through a small crowd to reach the shopkeeper to communicate your desire or choices since we don’t have the habit of forming a queue; if we had there would have been a long queue in front of every shop.
At home I often prepare onion fritters, potato fritters and red lentil fritters. A cook can actually has a lot of freedom while making these and can do a lot of experiments with various ingredients. So, I really have a number of recipes to share with you. Now I am writing about onion fritters.
Shred onion. Add salt and a little black pepper powder to it and mix very well. Some like it hot and they can add red chilli powder.
Add salt, a little cumin powder, a little baking powder to chickpea flour and mix very well. Add water little by little and make a thick paste. Add the onions to this mixture very well. You should have at least the equal proportion of the chick pea flour paste as the onion. If onion is too much in comparison to the paste it will not hold the ingredients together and the flat and round shape of the fritter won’t form.
Deep fry in the oil of your choice. I won’t recommend olive oil. We traditionally use mustard oil which I won’t recommend either since it has a peculiar flavour that one might not like if they are not accustomed to it. Please understand that I am not talking about the smell of mustard oil here. We know how to cancel the smell while cooking but the food will still have a flavour typical of mustard oil. My friends from Kerala can happily use coconut oil. I love the sweet flavour of food fried in coconut oil. But coconut oil is not for everyone’s taste buds. Other than mustard oil, I also use sun flower oil and rice bran oil for frying.