These fritters regularly feature as an appetiser when a group of friends come over for dinner. They are so easy to make and popular with everyone. I usually pile them on a plate with a spicy sour dip and watch them disappear in minutes. On rare occasions when there are leftovers, they make a quick lunch stuffed in naan bread with chilli sauce and salad.
250g dried yellow split peas, soaked overnight
1 medium onion, finely chopped
handful of fresh coriander, finely chopped
1 red chilli, finely chopped
¼ teaspoon paprika
¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon salt
peanut oil for deep frying
First prepare the onion, chilli and coriander by chopping them finely, then leave on one side.
Drain the peas and blitz half in a food processor to a coarse consistency, then tip into a bowl. Blitz the remaining half to a smooth paste, adding a little water (no more than 1 tablespoon) to help it along. Mix the two batches together. This will give the fritters a good texture and will stop them splitting during the frying process.
Mix in the chopped onion, chilli, coriander, spices and salt. Make sure all the ingredients are evenly incorporated.
Heat enough oil in a saucepan to deep fry (never fill the pan more than halfway). Scoop a teaspoon of the mixture and work with another teaspoon to form a bite-sized oval shape. Gently drop the fritters one by one into the oil. Deep fry in batches of 6 to 8 fritters on moderate heat. After 2-4 minutes they will turn golden brown.
Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. They are best served warm with sour chilli or tamarind dip.
makes: 30-35 fritters
cooking time: 20-30 mins
They can be made in advance and frozen until needed. When frying the fritters, remove from the oil when they are just beginning to turn golden. Let them cool completely before freezing. When needed, defrost and place under a hot grill for 2-4 minutes on each side to warm through and make them crisp again.