I was in India a few months ago and happened to go for lunch with some dear friends. One of them ordered some fritters. Melt in mouth, delicious, spicy fritters. To me they tasted like potato but I was shocked when i was told that they were yoghurt fritters! Huh? Yoghurt?
Now growing up I was a bit of a sickly kid and all meals were altered and made extremely bland for me. My mother being genius made even those taste like heaven to me. It was not until I was in my late twenties that I even dared going to a restaurant. So, food was for me is a new adventure.
There is so much for me to discover. So much. All my time spent in India, and I have barely scratched the surface.
Oh, also my mind doesn’t follow the usual logic. What I’m saying is that I am completely illogical. So, I’m quizzically looking at my friends, and thinking, yoghurt???
Ever since then I’ve wanted to make them. These yoghurt fritters are unbelievable in their flavor and texture and are made with hung yoghurt, which is extremely simple to do. Accompanied by tamarind chutney, that I am proud to say, tastes much like my moms.
For this recipe, you might have to make a trip to the Indian store in your neighborhood, but that’s never a bad thing!
for the chutney
100 grams tamarind
35 grams jaggery
1 tsp roasted cumin powder
1/2 black salt
1 tsp dried ginger powder
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp chilli powder
1 1/4 cups of water
In a pan, add the water and tamarind and bring to a boil. Lower heat and stir so both ingredients are well combined. Around 5 minutes. Strain through a sieve and put back in the pan and add the rest of the ingredients. Bring back to the flame and cook on low heat for around 10 minutes or until the jaggery (a kind of sugar) has completely melted. Let the chutney be a little thin as it will thicken on cooling. You can add a tablespoon of water at a time if not thin enough. Set aside to cool.
for the hung yoghurt (to be done a day ahead)
500 grams greek yoghurt
Place a muslin cloth on a deep dish or food container. The idea is to hang the yoghurt so most of its fluids drain out. Pour the greek yoghurt into the muslin cloth. Cover container and place in refrigerator overnight. Yields 1 cup hung yoghurt consistency.
for the fritters (yields 6)
1 cup hung yoghurt
1/2 cup paneer (recipe here)
3 green chilies, finely chopped
1 tsp garlic, finely chopped
1/2 cup cilantro, finely chopped
1/2 cup mint, finely chopped
1 tsp fennel seeds
pinch of sugar
salt to taste
1 tbsp ghee or vegetable oil
2 tbsp gram flour
2 tsp corn flour
oil for deep frying
In a bowl, combine the yoghurt, paneer, chilies, garlic, cilantro, mint, fennel seeds, sugar and salt.
Heat the ghee/oil in a pan and add the gram and corn flour. Next, add the yoghurt mixture. Cook on low heat till the mixture thickens a little and leaves the sides of the pan. Around 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Divide the mixture into 6 portions and shape into round flat discs.
Heat the oil in a wok.The oil needs to be hot when you drop in your fritters. Fry each fritter each side around 2 minutes or till they are nice and brown.
Drain on a kitchen cloth and serve hot with the tamarind chutney, some-tomato-cucumber-onion relish, and on a plate of papadums!