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SPINACH FRITTERS

These fritters are popular with almost everyone I have met, even those who say they hate green leafy vegetables. The main ingredient, chickpea or gram flour, is high in protein, making the fritters very nourishing as well as delicious, and ideal for both vegans and people on a gluten free diet. They are quite rich, so I usually serve them with a bowl of cucumber raita (a mixture of plain yoghurt and finely diced cucumber); its sharpness and crunch make a lovely contrast. Tomato salsa or your favourite pickles or chutney would also work well as an accompaniment.

Gram flour is widely available in health food shops and Asian stores, as well as some of the bigger supermarkets.

The recipe came from The Friendly Vegetable Book by Tina Deubert, published by the East Sussex Food and Health Partnership in 2003, now sadly out of print.

Ingredients

  • 250g gram (chick pea) flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • pinch chilli powder (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons oil
  • 400-500ml water
  • 1 or 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 onion, peeled and quartered
  • 200g fresh spinach or chard
  • large stalks removed
  • Rapeseed, sunflower, vegetable or coconut oil

Method

Whisk together all the dry ingredients in a large bowl.Make a well in the middle.

Pour in the oil and water gradually, beating with a whisk, until you have smooth and creamy batter.

Finely slice the onion and mix into the batter with the garlic. Wash and shake dry the spinach or chard, and chop it up (not too small), then stir into the batter. The batter should be quite thin, otherwise the fritters will be claggy. Add a little more water if necessary.

Heat just under half a centimetre of oil in a large frying pan.

When it is very hot, carefully lower spoonfuls of the mixture into the pan; they should sizzle on contact with the hot oil. Adjust the heat so that the fritters cook quickly without burning.

Use a knife and fork to turn them over after a couple of minutes.

When they are they are golden brown on both sides, transfer onto kitchen towels to drain, and keep warm.

Give the batter a stir and repeat, topping up the oil as necessary, until the mixture is used up.

Tips and variations

  • Add a handful of chopped, fresh coriander with the spinach.
  • Substitute or combine the spinach with grated courgettes, peas, or very thinly sliced cauliflower florets. You could also add leftover cooked potatoes or other vegetables.
  • Can be served hot or cold - great for packed lunches and picnics.

Posted in Erika’s Kitchen on Feb 01, 2022