Everyone is familiar with pancakes but most people aren’t aware of fritters which are very similar, but deep fried and filled with either vegetables or fruits. This versatile dish is super easy to make and is the ideal accompaniment to your next iftar this Ramadan.
Fritters are present in European, American and Asian cuisine. They can be savoury using corn or potatoes and can also be sweet by using a variety of different fruits. Because our pallets are so accustomed to savoury fried foods such as pakora’s and samosas, more people tend to like sweet fritters in Pakistan and we’ll focus on teaching you those today.
Though you’ll find numerous recipes for batters here’s a simple one which is guaranteed not to give you any hassle:
- 1 Cup all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 small egg, beaten
- ¼ Cup milk
Fruits of choice: Apples, bananas, mangoes or pineapples (cut roughly into 1 x 1 inch slices/cubes)
- Heat oil in wok, same as you would for pakoras
- Thoroughly mix all dry ingredients together.
- Make a hole in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in the egg and milk. Whisk until smooth
- Dip fruit in batter and until golden brown.
- Serving suggestions: Fritters are always served warm. Below are a few different ideas on dips and sauces to go with them:
- Serve the fritters with a scoop of cold ice-cream
- Whip some cream and serve it on the side. If you want to save time, serve the fritters with a dollop of chilled cream
- Drizzle some maple syrup or honey on the fritters
- For an iftar party, make a fritter platter with a few of the sauces in the center.
If you feel like getting creative then go ahead and try some of the other savory fritters we mentioned earlier. For the batter, you have the option of omitting or keeping the sugar, it’s entirely up to you.
In England and America, corn fritters are extremely common. Though they usually use cornmeal (corn flour) and wheat flour instead of all-purpose flour you can use the same batter as above. Instead of using fruits for dipping, mix in some canned corn and chopped green onion into the batter and fry on a hot frying pan with a little oil. Corn fritters are something in between pancakes and the deep fried fritters shown above.
Asian fritters use fruits, sweet potatoes (yams) and tofu. To make sweet potato fritters, grate the sweet potato and mix into the batter along with a small chopped onion and a little bit of cumin (zeera). These different fritter types are so popular in multiple Asian countries such as Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Brunei that they’re actually served on the roadside as snacks for passer-by’s, very similar to our samosas, pakoras and spring rolls.
As you can see, fritters are easy and enjoyed by people all over the world. A whole book can be written on international fritter recipes. We’ve given you a starting point so jump in and share your fritter frying fun!