Getting over my fear of deep frying was a major milestone for me. I had heard too many horror stories in my life of kitchen infernos and the like, and was put off for ages. I’m not saying I don’t burn myself each and every time I do it, but I see the pain as penance for the calories that ensue. All this being said, I have been eyeing out this Jamie Oliver recipe for curry-infused veg fritters for ages, and with a friend’s coming home dinner on the cards, it was the perfect time for their debut.
You start by putting 1 tsp cumin seeds, 2 tsp mustard seeds, 2 dried chillies and 1 tsp black peppercorns in a dry pan and toasting them all off briefly. Then they go swiftly into the pestle and mortar to be ground to oblivion. Left to cool, they are then added to 200g flour that’s also had 1/2 tsp turmeric and a pinch of salt thrown in. Pour in a bottle of cold beer, mix it all up, and you’ve got a rather lovely (and quite versatile) batter.
Next you prep some veggies by chopping them up into mouthful sized pieces and dredging in flour. I went for cauliflower, red pepper and broccoli. Put a fair amount of oil on to heat (remember never to fill the pan more than a 1/3), batter the veg, and fry in batches until golden and crunchy. Serve with a sprinkle of salt and decent couple of squeezes of lemon juice and you’re done. Marvellous.
These veg were served with a truly amazing beetroot and creme fraiche salad whipped up by the Avant Gardener, using beetroot from the garden. After boiling them until tender they were simply chopped up and mixed together with a pot of creme fraiche, splash of red wine vinegar and some shredded rocket – creamy, tangy, and the perfect complement to the veg. All in all a delightful evening – and mostly virtuous…