These crispy delights are a cross between an Indian style vegetable fritter, Pakoras and the Indonesian corn fritter called Bakwan/Perkedel Jagung. You might be more familiar with Pakoras -fried bite size vegetables coated primarily with chickpea flour and spices. Bakwan/Perkedel Jagung are equally delicious but perhaps less familiar. They are made from a batter of wheat flour, leavenings and eggs. I like using a mix of chickpea and rice flour for my corn fritters as it makes super crispy batter. Indonesian Bakwan/Perkedel Jagung are good eating but it is gluten based with egg(s) and if you do not handle the batter well, it can be gummy and is never as crispy.

Use fresh corn and the sweetest ones you can find as it makes a big difference in taste. I like using those cream coloured corn, sometimes labelled as ‘candy corn’, ‘bicoloured sweet corn’, ‘white corn’, ‘sweet corn’, ‘sugary corn’. There is an easy technique to fry these up crispy. Read the details under ‘Method’. I don’t usually serve these with a dip as they are so good on its own, you do not need anything else. Well, perhaps a glass of wine or some beer.

Crispy Gluten, Dairy And Egg Free Corn Fritters

Prep: 10 minutes 
Cook: 10 minutes
Inactive:
Level: Moderately easy
Serves: 4 as an appetiser or tea time snack
Oil Temperature: 300F (150C)
Can recipe be doubled? Yes
Make ahead? No

Ingredients

1 cup chickpea flour*
2 Tablespoons rice flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cumin powder
1/4 teaspoon coriander powder
1/4 teaspoon tumeric powder
1/8 teaspoon chilli powder
1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
pinch of asafoetida (optional)**
3/4 plus 1/4 cup water
1 and 1/2 cup freshly shucked sweet corn***
1/4 cup coriander leaves cut small
1/4 cup onions diced
Enough oil to reach at least a depth of 1 and 1/2″ in your frying vessel
* Also labelled as ‘besan’, ‘garbanzo bean’, ‘channa’, ‘gram’. Available at Indian grocers, some supermarkets, Asian and specialty grocers.
** Scroll down to ‘Tips’ to find out more.
*** Also labelled as ‘candy corn’, ‘bi-coloured sweet corn’, ‘white corn’, ‘sweet corn’, ‘sugar corn

Method

1. I have been very conservative with the amount of spices and the recipe as it is, is very mildly spiced, more like an underlying touch of spices. Add up to an additional 1/4 –  1/2 teaspoon of each spice if you want more taste of the spices.
2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk to mix, all the dried ingredients. If you are not frying within 10 minutes of mixing, hold off the baking powder and add it when you are ready to cook.
3. Whisk 3/4 cup of water gradually into the dry mix to avoid lumps. Do not add the additional 1/4 cup of water at this point. With a wide faced spoon, mix in the corn, onions and parsley.


4. Add as much of the reserved 1/4 cup of water as necessary to obtain a runny batter. I usually end up adding 2 Tablespoons of it.
5. Heat up the oil to 300F (150C) in a wide bottom frying pan. You should see some tiny bubbles in the oil at this temperature.
6. To get crispy corn fritters, think of not dropping spoonfuls of batter into hot oil. Instead, using a large broad face spoon, you want to slide a trail of batter into the oil from a low height (less than 1/2″ (1.25cm) above the surface of the oil). The thinner you can make your fritter, the more crisp your fritter.

7. These take some time to fry compared to wheat based batters. Chickpeas need to fry slow to cook through and crisp up. About 3 minutes on first side and 2 minutes on the other. They should be a darker shade of golden brown. Refer to my feature image.
8. Drain to get rid of excess oil and serve promptly. Should you want to serve them with a dip, scroll down to ‘Tips’ for some suggestions.

Tips

1. Asafoetida
Asafoetida is the resin derived from the herbaceous ferula family. You can buy this greyish brownish coloured powdered spice at your Indian grocer. I use this for its anti-flatulence properties. It is an ingredient used as far as I am aware, primarily in Indian cooking. Its use has not transcended borders as much as other spices associated with Indian cooking. Perhaps because it smells dangerously sulphuric. The smell might just shock you enough to send you reeling back a few steps. I keep the plastic container of asafoetida in a plastic bag and then in a glass jar. That is how pungent it smells. Add too much of it in your food and it overwhelms the dish. I am very conservative with the amount I add. I cannot accurately tell you the flavour it imparts as it is a totally different spice. All I know is if I add it to my lentil/bean dishes, my tummy feels a whole lot better. If I really have to describe the taste it imparts, I would say it is a mix of onion, fennel and garlic. Omit if you cannot bring yourself to buy or use it. I do use it in my recipe for Coconut Chutney/Dip and Gluten & Egg Free Savoury Snack, Vadai (images below).

2. Dip suggestions
These 3 dips

Mint Chutney/Dip
Tomato Chutney/Dip
Coconut Chutney/Dip

go well with my corn fritters and just about any kind of vegetable chips (except potato) and with the Gluten & Egg Free Savoury Snack, Vadai.

WHAT’S COMING UP NEXT?

Creamy Avocado Panna Cotta With A Top Layer Of Tart Morello Cherry Jelly.

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