Some of my earliest Meat free Monday memories consist of the family, hanging around the kitchen and waiting for the freshly fried, batter aubergines to be done. Best eaten whilst hot and crisp, these would never last too long in our house and my mom would always make more than was required because she knew there would definitely be snacking before dinner.
These fritters are traditionally made in South Africa with “chilli bite mix” which is a spiced chickpea flour. The chickpea flour provides a very distinct flavour and the addition of crushed coriander seeds and a little curry powder takes the flavour to a different level of deliciousness.
Let’s get cooking…
I have substituted chickpea flour for sorghum flour. The taste is mostly similar but the flour isn’t flavoured in the same way that the chilli bite mix is so I flavour it on my own simply with garam masala, curry powder and a little salt.
Start off by mixing all the ingredients for the batter together in a large bowl. It should be quite thick in order to provide a nice, crisp coating to the aubergine. A batter that is too liquid would slide right off and not coat the vegetable.
Toss the aubergine slices in the batter so that all slices get a really nice, thick coating then fry in hot oil. Drop a little batter into the frying pan and if it sizzles, your oil is ready. I shallow fry the fritters but deep frying also works well.
Once done frying sprinkle with a little extra salt while it is still hot. These can be served as appetizers or alongside some dhall and rice for a wholesome meat free main dish.
Crisp battered aubergine
• 1 large aubergine, sliced into ¼ cm round discs
• ½ cup flour, I used sorghum flour
• 1 tsp curry powder
• 1 tsp salt
• ½ tsp garam masala
• ¾ cup water
- Mix all ingredients for the batter together until it forms a thick consistency
- Add the aubergine to the bowl, the batter should coat the slices quite thickly
- Place into hot oil and shallow fry for 5 minutes per side
- Remove from oil and drain on paper towels
- Sprinkle with a little extra salt
- Serve as an appetizer with a spicy dipping sauce or with dhall and rice as a great meat free Monday dish