Childhood memories are a funny thing. Some are so random that you are left wondering why on earth you remember that. For example, I remember trying flying saucers for the first time with my brother at our local corner shop in East London. As soon as I put one in my mouth, I said ‘it tastes like paper’ and he put his hand over my mouth and ran home while singing ‘I am telling mum you ate paper!’. I was pretty scared and probably pretty close to tears until we got just outside my home and he said he was only joking and that it is in fact edible. Now why do I remember such a minor thing like that? No idea. I mean, it wasn’t so traumatic that I would remember so many years later…I think.
Sometimes something as simple as a aroma can set your senses off and jog a memory or two. Like the smell of fried onions and the association with hot dogs at fun fairs. In my case, the smell of indian fritters (bhajiya) brings back many good memories of fried treats at home, courtesy of my mother. Here is a tried and tested recipe for one of my favorite kind of fritters – methi (fenugreek) bhajiya!
Prep time: 10 minutes
Approx calories per portion: n/a
The ingredients you will need for one portion are:
- 2 tablespoons besan (gram flour)
- 1 tablespoon corn flour
- 1 tablespoon rice flour (optional but good for extra crisp)
- Half 5ml fenugreek powder (or use fresh fenugreek leaves for an even better result)
- Fresh spices – 3 bullet chillis, half inch ginger and 1 small garlic clove (optional) all finely chopped
- Dry spices – salt to taste and pinch of turmeric powder (optional)
- Pinch of baking powder
- Oil to fry
And here are the steps that will produce a batch of ever so slightly bitter but yummy fritters:
- Combine all the ingredients (excluding the baking powder) and add warm water.
- Mix until batter is similar to that of thick cake batter consistency.
- Leave batter aside for at least 30 minutes.
- Heat up oil for frying in a medium saucepan on medium heat until oil is ready for frying (roughly 5 mins)
- Put a pinch of baking powder on top of the batter and place a tsp of the hot oil on top and then mix the batter. This will help your fritters to be spongier.
- Test oil by putting a drop of batter in. It should form a ball in the oil and pop up to the surface and brown within seconds. If it does that, the oil is ready for frying.
- Drop cherry sized balls into the oil with a spoon and fry until its brown and crispy.
If you omit the optional ingredients from this recipe such as the fenugreek powder then you can more or less fry anything in this batter from onions to potato slices. Feel free to adjust the spice level to your liking. Enjoy!