Vegetable Fritters with Green Chile-Coconut Chutney
This recipe from Sara Moulton‘s cookbook Home Cooking 101 combines a popular South Asian snack called pakoras with the airy texture of Japanese tempura, achieved by using egg whites and seltzer water in the chickpea flour batter. When properly fried (oil temperature in the low to high 300Fs) the fritters absorb minimal oil and become the perfect pairing for the spicy-sweet chutney.
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2 large egg whites (or vegan egg white substitute)
Vegetable oil, preferably grapeseed, for deep-frying
10 (2-by 1-inch) cauliflower or broccoli florets
10 (1/2- by 1- to 2-inch, 1/2-inch thick) carrot or butternut squash slices
10 (1/2-inch-thick) onion rings
Green Chile–Coconut Chutney (see below)
In a medium bowl, whisk together the chickpea flour, cumin, coriander, salt, cayenne, and baking powder. Add the seltzer in a stream, whisking until the mixture is smooth. Right before frying, whisk the egg whites in a bowl with electric beaters until they reach soft peaks and fold them into the batter.
Heat 2 inches of oil in a large deep saucepan to 365°F. Working in batches of 5 or so pieces at a time, dip the vegetables in the batter, add carefully to the oil, and fry, turning often, until golden, about 5 minutes for the harder vegetables and 2 minutes for the onion rings.
Transfer to paper towels to drain. Serve hot with the chutney on the side.
Green Chile-Coconut Chutney:
2 cups packed fresh cilantro, leaves and stems
1/2 cup chopped scallions, white and light green parts
1/4 cup sweetened flaked coconut
2 serrano chiles, chopped with seeds (about 2 heaping tablespoons)
3 tablespoons vegetable oil, preferably grapeseed
1 1/2 tablespoons finely grated ginger
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons water
1 to 2 teaspoons packed brown sugar, or to taste
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Puree all the ingredients in a blender, adding salt and pepper to taste.