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Spicy Potato Fritters with Green Chutney

Garam masala is an Indian spice blend found in stores specializing in Indian foods and in shops with an international selection. You can also make your own (see related recipe at left).

Ingredients:

For the green chutney:

  • 3 cups fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 1 to 3 serrano chilies, seeded and coarsely
      chopped
  • 1 piece fresh ginger, 1/2 inch long, peeled and
      coarsely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1 tsp. sugar, or to taste
  • Salt, to taste

For the fritters:

  • 1 cup chickpea flour
  • 1 cup vegetable stock, canned broth or water
  • 1 Tbs. peanut oil, plus more for frying
  • 1 Tbs. garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 green onions, minced
  • 1 serrano chili, minced
  • 2 Tbs. minced fresh cilantro
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 yam or sweet potato
  • 1 baking potato

Directions:

Preheat an oven to 250°F.

To make the chutney, in a food processor or blender, combine the cilantro, mint, chilies, ginger, garlic, water, lime juice, sugar and salt. Puree until smooth. Add more water if needed to achieve a good consistency. Taste and adjust the seasonings. You should have about 1 1/4 cups. Transfer to a serving bowl and set aside.

To make the fritters, in a bowl, combine the chickpea flour, stock, the 1 Tbs. peanut oil, the garam masala, turmeric and baking powder. Stir until well mixed. Stir in the green onions, chili and cilantro. The batter should be thick. Season with salt and pepper.

In a deep-fry pan over medium heat, pour in oil to a depth of 1 inch and heat to 350°F on a deep-frying thermometer. Meanwhile, peel and thinly slice the yam and the baking potato. Working in batches, dip the slices into the batter to coat and then slip them into the hot oil. Fry, turning once, until golden brown on both sides, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Using tongs or a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain. Keep warm in the oven while you cook the remaining fritters.

Transfer the fritters to a warmed serving platter and serve with the chutney.
Serves 8.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Lifestyles Series, Vegetarian for All Seasons, by Pamela Sheldon Johns (Time-Life Books, 1998).