Carrot and coriander is a classic culinary combination, but beyond the realm of soup it is, inexplicably, infrequently visited. The sweetness of a crisp, crunchy carrot, alongside that of ground coriander works almost too well, particularly when a handful of fresh coriander sees fit to join the proceedings. However, these are flavours that can be easily misplaced in the combative milieu of a complex dish; ground coriander simply doesn’t possess the pungency of ground cumin. For this reason, fritters seemed to be the best vehicle for the carrot and coriander flavour, given its delicacy. Besides, since my Virtual Vegan Potluck (VVP) post, for which I was awarded the prize for best soup, rather a lot of you have been clamouring for more frugal vegan recipes.
If ever you’re searching for a natural ingredient with which to bind vegetable based fritters, bhajis or koftas, you need look no further than gram flour. It is made from dried, ground chickpeas and forms a truly delicious wheat and gluten free binding agent. As a result, gram flour suits my style of cooking rather well because it is a very simple, natural and wholesome solution to what can sometimes prove a tricky problem.
The thing that really impressed me about these fritters was just how straightforward they were to make; from start to finish they took perhaps 30 minutes to make and that’s including the preparation Jamie Oliver excludes from his ’30 minute meals’… perhaps I ought to launch my own version. Of course, it’s best for a small fish like me not to be too rude to a big ol’ bass like Mr. Oliver, after all he does cook some cracking food. Let’s just say that it’s best not to get me onto the subject of his ’15 minute meals’, my head (and watch) just might explode.
Carrot and Coriander Fritters
• 4 medium carrots, peeled and grated
• ½ red onion, diced
• 3-4 tbsp gram flour
• 2 tsp coriander seed, freshly ground
• A handful of fresh coriander, roughly chopped
• 1 tsp chilli flakes
• 3-4 tbsp sunflower oil, plus extra for frying
• A generous pinch of salt
• A twist of black pepper
1. Mix together all of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl – use your culinary intuition to decide what ration of flour and oil to use. The ingredients should stick together very well, but one should use as little flour as possible.
2. Heat a little oil in a pan over a medium flame. Form the carrot and flour mixture into five or six fritters and cook slowly, two at a time. Each batch should take 6-8 minutes to cook; they should be golden brown and cooked through. Serve with yoghurt, alone or with pita bread.
Cost: Vegan food is almost always cost effective – it is simply a fact of life that vegetables cost vastly less than meat. As such, these fritters will set one back a rather frugal 60p! Not bad for a filling, healthy meal, ideal as part of a balanced diet.