Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Spicy Chickpea Fritters

It's quite surprising to me that I don't have more Indian inspired recipes on my blog because I LOVE Indian food. In fact whenever I go home to Scotland one of the top things on my 'To Do' list is to have a good Indian takeaway and this past trip was no exception! Before Italian food took a hold of me I think Indian curries were my favourite and they still remain in close competition with Italian food as to which is my absolute favourite. Thankfully I don't need to chose between the two (despite always playing that mind game with myself and asking others what their favourites are!) which is a big relief as it would be tricky....very tricky!

Unfortunately for me though, where I now live in Canada is not home to a big following of Indian food so there are no good restaurants or takeaways which can satisfy my spicy Indian cravings like in the UK (where literally there were 5 Indian restaurants within walking distance from my flat in Edinburgh – oh how I miss that!) so it means when I want a good curry I make it myself. Normally though if I'm going to make a curry I have to go all out and so it's a rare occurrence when I only literally make a curry – there are generally a couple of dishes, definitely Naan bread and Poppadoms (which here I even have to fry myself and only recently could buy them at all!) and plenty of condiments. If I make a starter even better, and so when I do I make this recipe for Spicy Chickpea Fritters, (inspired 100% by Jo Pratt's Chick Pea Fritters from her book In the Mood for Entertaining) which is in my opinion the ideal way to start a spicy Indian feast. If you like Bhaji's you will love these as they are similar – crispy and golden on the outside and soft spicy goodness inside – they are amazing and even better, easy to make!

Luckily I just managed to sneak this post in in time for participating in Lisa's Kitchen challenge that she is currently hosting (although of course today is the last day for entering!) to celebrate Indian food. How could I not take part when I have this recipe, plus it meant I had the perfect excuse for making them again as I needed to take some photos! As I said they are a great way to start an Indian meal but they also make a perfect lunch. Try them and I honestly think they will soon become a favourite part of your Indian meal, even if you can order a takeaway whenever you like!

I like to add extra garlic and chilli to my fritters along with curry powder and salt and pepper, which aren't on the list of ingredients in the original recipe, but you could easily miss them out and stick to the recipe as written in the book. I've also changed the mint dip slightly – again it's just the way I like it, however they are also delicious served with Mango Chutney or if you want extra spice, some Sweet Chilli Dipping Sauce.

Serves 6

400g tin of chickpeas, drained
1 onion, roughly chopped
2 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
1-2 chillies, roughly chopped (keep the seeds in for more heat)
1 egg
75g plain or all-purpose flour
¼ tsp turmeric
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground coriander – be generous!
½ tsp curry powder
¼ tsp salt
freshly ground black pepper

Canola or vegetable oil for frying

Mint Dip:
150ml natural yogurt
small bunch of mint, roughly chopped
1 tbsp mint sauce (optional but I love the flavour it gives)
Few drops of Tabasco (optional)
salt & freshly ground black pepper

To Serve:
Good handful of rocket or spinach leaves
Small mint leaves
Red chilli, finely sliced

To make the fritters simply add all of the ingredients into the bowl of a food processor and blend until you have a smooth batter.

For the mint dip pop the yogurt and mint into a blender (or use a jug and a hand blender). Blitz until smooth and the mint finely chopped. Add the mint sauce, Tabasco, salt and pepper and stir well. Taste to check the seasoning and adjust if needed. It will be runny but that's how it's meant to be. Keep in the fridge until you are ready to use it.

When you are ready to cook the fritters put roughly 1 ½ inches of oil into a deep, medium sized pan. Once it is hot enough carefully drop spoonfuls of the mixture into the oil (it is up to you how big you want them but don't go too crazy!) and fry for a minute or two until golden brown all over (you will probably have to flip them over half way through cooking). Remove from the pan using a slotted spoon and drain on a plate lined with kitchen paper. Season with a little Maldon sea salt (or other finishing salt) and repeat the process until you have made them all.

When ready to serve I like to put a handful of rocket (arugula) into the middle of the serving plate then pile them on top. Finish with a scattering of small mint leaves and some fresh chilli and if you like a wedge of lemon or lime. So simple yet completely delicious and guaranteed to satisfy any spicy craving you have!

{Of course as is always the way they turned out looking a little heavier than normal but they are crispy and golden and delicious - the photos just don't do them justice!}


  1. Wow, you sure have lived in many places! This recipe is a keeper, I've tried to make a similar dish but I really like the spices you use here, the more spice the better! Thanks for sharing Lisa's kitchen blog, so many great recipes there too!

  2. I love anything involving chickpeas, so I bet this would be right up my alley. With the sauce, it looks like a perfect combo of spice and cool :)

  3. Thanks Tiffany and Kiri!

    Tiffany - I grew up in Scotland and lived there until I was 26 when I moved to Canada as my husband is Canadian! It's great having so many cooking influences from both sides and I get to enjoy both countries! Isn't Lisa's Kitchen great? Glad to be of assistance in helpng you discover it!

    Kiri - It is just that spicy hot fritters and cool, soothing dip - the perfect combination! I keep trying to get on your blog but there seems to be some sort of issue as whenever I click on your name or try to access your blog my internet shuts down! So sorry - I am trying!! : )

  4. Thank you for your entry. Delicious.

  5. Wow, what an interesting way to use chickpeas. It looks great!

  6. omg i'm making these this weekend... i adore stuff like these... so good... fabulous in fact x

  7. Spicy + chickpeas = perfection. Love this!

  8. fritters look fabulous lovely flavours

  9. These look gorgeous - I love making Indian food too, and will try and make these.

  10. Great job on the fritters - they look phenomenal =)

  11. I hear you, Lyndsay - after the curries in Edinburgh, moving away has made me pine for them. I even wish we just had a curry for Christmas, it's that bad! The day our wedding in Edinburgh, our taxi went past our old haunt, the Omar Khayam and it was on fire! Was it the vindaloo or a sign? Love these chickpea fritters with all the tasty trimmings!

  12. What a great recipe, I LOVE these!! If you haven’t already, feel free to check out the $50 Williams-Sonoma gift card giveaway going on right on my blog! xoxo

  13. That is certainly one thing I'm fortunate to have in Cayman. Good curry takeouts! But I'm SURE this is equally and probably MORE amazing :) It certainly looks fabulous


  14. Hi Lyndsey, I live in Edinburgh, but have stopped going to Indian restaurants as prefer to make my own. I've got Madhur Jaffrey's Curry bible which I love. Will definitely try these little fritters. They look delicious. Let me know if you want me to post any of your favourite foods over! ;)

  15. Thanks everyone! I had some more yesterday and honestly if it wasn't for me restricting myself I would eat them every day!!!

    Jill - Not good! Disaster in fact...they must have had some seriously hot food there!! ; )

    Parsley Sage - You are so lucky! I didn't realise how lucky I was until I no longer had them :( Isn't that always the way though!

    Bananamondaes - Thank you so much, that is so sweet! I managed to stuff my suitcase with things when I was just over but will keep you in mind. I love Madhur Jaffrey - she is definitely the Queen of curries and Indian food! {And I miss Edinburgh so much!!}

  16. I made these, loved them and will definitely keep making them. I've also posted about them on my blog for Bookmarked Recipes. Hope that's ok with you.

  17. There is one thing Indian restos have going for them: the sheer diversity of dishes you can get in a meal. I am planning an Indian meal for guests and trying to keep things simple, but still want to have a few sides with the curry. This looks like an interesting appetizer. I wonder if I could sub chickpea flour? Do you think they would hold well to baking, too?

    Btw - didn't know you were Canadian. Where abouts? I live so close to Little India in Toronto but will be moving next month. Sadly, I will no longer be biking through the Indian aromas on my daily commutes..

    1. Chick pea flour would definitely work - I can just never find it here! As for baking I'm not sure to be honest....I don't think it would work but if you try that definitely let me know how they turn out! I love big Indian feasts - so much fun and so much delicious food!

      I'm actually Scottish but live in Canada now (my husband is Canadian so I moved here almost 7 years ago!). I'm on the West Coast - on Vancouver Island, a beautiful part of the world.

      That's too bad although I don't think I could ever commute through Little India as I wouldn't be able to resist and would eat there every day!!! : )


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