The only time of the year that one gets to enjoy anything fried here is either monsoon or the winter season. Rest of the time the humidity and heat keeps our appetites sluggish, with fried foods being the last think on our minds. Therefore without letting go off this opportunity, we make the most (read indulge) of this short winter spell by indulging in all things fried or luxurious and rich; you will see more of such post through the January, I promise. The weather here inspired me to indulge in some crispy savoury indulgence and what better than fritters. I had never tried using beer for making the batter for fritters and this time around I had a bottle of beer sitting pretty in the fridge. Since hubby and I don’t drink (but we keep stuff for friends), the only way I knew it could be put to use was using it for fritters batter. I thought to give a try, just to see how the texture of these fritters would differ from the regular batter. And I am pleasantly surprised how the beer batter makes these fritters light and crunchy. You can use this batter for fish, prawns, squid or any other vegetable of your choice. It works well even with paneer.
200 grams Cauliflower
½ C Chick Pea Flour/ Gram flour (Besan)
½ C Rice Flour + extra for rolling
¾ tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp + ½ tsp Salt
½ tsp Red Chili flakes
½ tsp Turmeric
1 tsp Amchur (dry mango powder)
2 Fresh Green Chili (ground to paste)
¾ tsp Ginger paste
1 tsp Garlic paste
2 tbsp finely chopped Mint leaves
Chilled Beer (you can swap chilled beer with sparkling water i.e. popularly known as drinking soda here)
Oil for deep frying
Grind to paste, ginger, garlic, green chilies and cilantro. Keep aside.
Cut the cauliflower in florets (not too big in size). Slice the large florets in two or four. Keep aside.
Boil sufficient water, add 1 teaspoon of salt and then plunge the sliced cauliflower in it. Let it cook in water for half a minute. This is to get rid of any tiny worms that may be hidden in the crevices and nooks of the cauliflower. (You can apply this method of treating cauliflower each time you intend to make a dish with cauliflower). Switch off the heat and discard the water. Transfer the florets in icy cold water and once they are cool, discard the water and place the florets on a kitchen towel or an absorbent sheet. Gently pat them dry. Take some rice flour in a bowl and very gently roll the florets in it. Dust off any extra flour and keep the florets aside.
Whisk together chick pea flour, rice flour, baking powder, salt, red chili flakes, amchur. Add the ginger & garlic paste along with chopped mint and start adding gradually the beer, whisking all the while till you have pancake like consistency (not too runny or thick; should be able to coat the florets)
Start dipping the florets in this glorious batter and drain any extra batter before you dunk the florets in hot oil (not smoky). Do not over crowd the fryer with the florets else they will lower the oil temperature and take more time to fry leading to soggy greasy fritters. Reduce the temperature to medium or medium so the florets are cooked well even on the inside.
Note: If you do not have dry mango powder (amchur), sprinkle the fritters with some Chaat Masala before serving.
Serves – Donno…just gorge on them!!!
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