Curried Red Lentil Fritters
Fritter me this.
You can make a flavorful mash of nearly anything then fry it up and call it a fritter. British fritters are often coated in a batter before frying, but U.S. fritters mainly consist of main ingredient with some kind of binder (like egg, flour or cornmeal) then are deep fried or pan fried. Fritters are hugely popular in Southeast Asia, combinations like squash, chickpea and green onion; or yam and banana; or squid dipped in batter; or a mixture of shredded vegetables; then all are lovingly deep fried by vendors and served on a street corner. Deep frying on a food cart—can you imagine the mess? These are brave souls that give us delectable street food.
I made a pile of these orange snacks for a college graduation reception last year, they’re tasty by themselves and particularly tasty topped with Tamarind Chutney. Frying in coconut oil gives a round sweetness that goes so well with curry.
Calling on bright colors in the depths of winter!
Red lentils need to be rinsed well before cooking. Rinsing removes dust and debris, but also helps to reduce the amount of white volcanic foam produced when cooking that you have to scoop out of the pot so it doesn’t overflow and bury your stovetop. Put the lentils in a bowl or the soup pot and cover with cold water, swish the water around until it turns milky, then pour off and repeat four or five times until the water is relatively clear. You can also use a colander and cold running water to rinse the lentils.
photo by David Cavagnaro
Sweet potatoes! One of the greatest of the tubers, and definitely one of the most colorful.
The fritters can be assembled a day ahead and refrigerated overnight, then fry them a little before needed and keep warm in the oven.
Happy New Year, and Good Luck with all of that!
Curried Red Lentil Fritters
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes to cook the red lentils and yams, 20 minutes to fry the Fritters
Mash together in a bowl:
1 cup Red Lentils, cooked
1 cup Sweet Potato, peeled and cooked
1/2 teaspoon Garlic, minced (or Granulated Garlic)
1/4 teaspoon Ginger, minced or Ginger Juice
1/8 teaspoon Lime Oil, or 1/2 teaspoon Lime Zest, chopped
Mix in a separate bowl:
1/2 cup Cornmeal, finely ground or Masa Harina—more might be needed if the lentils are wet
1/4 cup Tapioca Flour or Starch
2 1/2 teaspoons Curry Powder, or 2 teaspoons Red or Green Curry Paste
1 teaspoon Sea Salt
1/4 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/8 teaspoon Allspice
Black Pepper, freshly ground
Combine the wet and dry mixes. Let the batter sit for at least 15 minutes to absorb the liquids.
Fry in a heavy sauté pan with:
Coconut Oil (use around 2 teaspoons oil for every 6 fritters)
Drop 2-Tablespoon-dollops of the batter into the hot oil and lightly flatten. Fry for a few minutes then flip and do the same on the other side.
Serve warm with:
A thought for our New Year…
“You need to learn how to select your thoughts just the same way you
select your clothes every day. That’s a power you can cultivate. If you
want to control things in your life so bad, work on the mind. That’s the
only thing you should be trying to control.”
— Elizabeth Gilbert