Lentil Fritters with Yoghurt + Chutneys Recipe

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Fresh India 130 Quick, Easy and Delicious Vegetarian Recipes for Every DayEvery mum has a special party dish. This is my mum’s. I’ve seen it come out at birthdays, anniversaries and weddings, and there is a good reason for this – all our family and friends badger her to cook it. After frying, the fritters are traditionally dipped in water, covered in yoghurt and then coated in chutney. But I prefer my fritters crunchy, so (with Mum’s permission) I’ve left that step out.

  • Yield: 25 (serves 6 to 8 as a snack)


For the Fritters
  • 250 g split urad dal, or white lentils
  • 1½ green finger chillies, roughly chopped
  • 5 cm ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1¼ teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • rapeseed or sunflower oil
For the Red Pepper Chutney
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tablespoons tomato ketchup
  • 0.33 teaspoon salt
  • 2 red peppers, diced
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 0.33 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
For the Date Chutney
  • 100 g dates, stoned
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2½ teaspoons tamarind paste (or to taste)
How to Make It
  1. Wash the dal in a few changes of cold water until the water runs clear, then leave to soak for 6 hours or overnight. When the dal has finished soaking, make the chutneys. Place all the ingredients for the red pepper chutney in a blender and whizz to a fine consistency, adding a couple of tablespoons of water if need be. Transfer to a bowl. Then blend all the ingredients for the date chutney, along with 100 ml of water, and transfer to a bowl. To make the yoghurt dressing, put the yoghurt into a bowl, and add the sugar and salt along with 75 ml of water. Stir to mix. Cover and refrigerate both the chutneys and the dressing.
  2. To make the fritters, drain the dal and place in a blender or food processor. Add the green chillies, ginger, salt, turmeric and cumin seeds, and pour in up to 200 ml of water, adding it little by little until the batter is a hummus-like consistency. Place a high-sided frying pan over a medium heat at the back of the hob, then pour in 4 cm of oil. You’ll know it’s ready when you put a bit of the mix in and it floats to the top – or use a thermometer and wait for it to reach 180°C. Have a plate lined with kitchen paper standing by.
  3. Scoop up a generous teaspoonful of batter and scrape it into the oil with another teaspoon. Move around with a slotted spoon for 2 to 4 minutes, until it turns an almond colour, then drain and place on the kitchen paper. Taste for texture and flovour: it should be fluffy inside, so if it's doughy increase the cooking time, and adjust the salt and chilli as you see fit. Fry 10 to 12 at a time until you've used all the batter. Place the fitters on a large platter. Spoon over the yoghurt, dot with the red pepper chutney and follow with the date chutney. Finally, scatter over the pomegranate seeds and top with the chopped coriander. Serve immediately.

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