Simple, flavourful and healthy, fritters are among my favourite foods to make. Having already produced recipes for carrot and coriander, sardine, and courgette fritters, I was keen to attempt something a little different once more. Often when using spinach in a recipe like this one would blanch the leaves first, remove any excess moisture and generally “smush” things about a bit. This approach can sometimes prove a little brutal, removing many of the virtues of good-quality fresh spinach. Though a little more difficult to handle, these Spinach Fritters are every bit as fresh, green and crunchy as the wonderful plant employed in their making.
Though perhaps a little over done, fritters flavoured with spices are usually the most enjoyable. With seeds like cumin and coriander, you tend to receive a very immediate flavour, which works well with the surprisingly robust taste of spinach. Indeed, you need only sample my recipe for Saag Aloo to understand exactly what I mean. However, where these fritters are concerned I encourage you to experiment a little with different flavourings. Food is at its best when personal.
• 250g fresh spinach, washed
• 200g gram flour
• 1 onion, finely sliced
• 100ml water
• 1 tsp turmeric
• 2 tsp cumin seeds
• 1 tsp coriander seeds
• 1 tsp fennel seeds
• 1 tsp chilli flakes
• 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
• 1 tsp salt
1. Whisk together the gram flour and half the water in a large mixing bowl. The mixture should be a relatively thick consistency, so as to cover the back of a wooden spoon. If a little thick continue to beat in more water.
2. Gently toast the cumin, coriander and fennel before grinding to a fine powder along with the chilli. Tip the spice mix, along with the turmeric, garlic, onion and salt into the prepared batter. Whisk again.
3. Add your spinach to the mixing bowl, uniformly coating it in the gram flour batter. Heat up a little oil in a thick-based saucepan and fry small handfuls of the spinach mixture, flattening them out between turns, until golden brown on each side. The oil should be heated over a medium temperature to allow each fritter to cook through.
4. Serve alongside pita or a curry, with a generous dollop of yoghurt and mango chutney.
Cost: Though it may not sound like much, 250g of fresh spinach can be made to go a long way and costs very little indeed. Though these fritters are incredibly substantial and filling, 12-15 of them should set you back no more than about £1.80.
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