Recipe: Besan Fritters

Recently I looked at my cooking (and yes, I need to post more on it) and realized my Tex-mex and Mediterranean kick had gone a bit far.  So I decided it was time to start diversifying – and as I’d recently got some besan flour (chickpea flour) – also called Gram flour incase you want some – with the intention of making fritters with them.  I’d tried besan fritters once before with some success, and used it in other experiments, but kind of forgot about it.  It’s actually a very popular ingredient in Indian cooking, and you can get it at any Indian market –

First results aren’t perfect, but are a darn good start.  Good enough for me to post without (gasp) perfecting it!

  • 2 cups besan
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 cup chopped veggies. (1cup peas, 1 cup diced onion)
  1. Mix besan, spices, and water together thoroughly – it’ll create a kid of light dough.
  2. Add lemon juice.  Mix.
  3. Add veggies to the mix.  You may find it needs a bit more water.  Mix thorouhgly.
  4. Separate into eight “lumps.”  It’ll be more like a very sticky dough more than anything else so it’s not too hard, but you are going to want to wash your hands.  Alternately just scoop it out of the bowl as needed, but I like to be regular.
  5. Place the lumps in frying pan/skillet sprayed with cooking spray or sprinkled in olive oil.  Flatten into a cake.  Cook until it browns, spray/sprinkle with oil, flip it over and brown the other side.  Place on a paper towel to cool a bit.  I usually find I can do about 3 at a time.
  6. Serve!  They’re fine on their own, but I imagine a sauce, dip, or chutney would be awesome.

Off the bat these are great.  Each fritter is about 130 calories and 6-9 grams protein (I had trouble getting exact numbers sadly, especially on besan) – so one is a good snack and two is a good main course with some veggies, fruit, or brown rice.  They reminds me a bit of okonomiyaki but lighter – which gives me plenty of ideas.

Also I tried experimentally baking some at 400 degrees.  They didn’t brown as easy but held together OK.  Just not sure it has the same flavor.

I plan to do some serious experimenting with these, with different veggie combos (maybe some tomatoes instead of peas, or adding some pickled ginger, maybe diced cabbage).  I’m also thinking if I ditched the salt and used a tablespoon or two of low-sodium soy sauce it may be good.  I might substitute vegetable broth for the water, though as I prefer to make my own I’d want to time it right.   Also if I used the soy sauce and/or vegetable broth I don’t know if the lemon juice is needed.

Definitely this is added to my repertoire and is something to experiment with in the future!