When I get a new cookbook, usually I go through and bookmark every recipe I want to try first. Sometimes I color code: red for “cook immediately!”; pink for ones I’ll like but Tor won’t; blue for everything else; etc., etc. When I started through Plenty More by Yotam Ottolenghi, I had to force myself to stop using red, so the Fritter Roulette, towards the end of the book, got a blue label, instead of red, and thus was overlooked until I leafed through the whole thing again. The spices and butternut squash inspired me, so I played around with the spice ratios, used fresh instead of powdered turmeric, omitted the red chilli and padrón peppers, and added some quinoa to make it a bit more filling. I was quite delighted with the result. This recipe makes about six fritters, which is plenty for two lunches. Serve alongside a simple salad of arugula, tomatoes, and your vinaigrette of choice.
60 ml (1/4 cup) coconut milk
1 tablespoon (15 ml) cornflour
2 heaping tablespoons (35 ml) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin (spiskummin, not kummin, here in Sweden)
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2.5 cm (1 in) piece of turmeric root, peeled and grated
100 g butternut squash, grated (1/2 cup)
65 g (1/2 cup) corn kernels, frozen or fresh
100g (3/4 cup) cooked quinoa
1 medium shallot, minced (about 1 heaping tablespoon)
Tip: Keep in mind that turmeric stains! If you don’t want yellow fingers for three or four days, wear gloves. Also beware of using porous surfaces to cut on.
4-5 parsley sprigs and lime wedges for garnishes
Sunflower oil, for frying
Whisk egg, coconut milk, flours, and spices together until well mixed. Add squash, corn, quinoa, and shallot and stir to combine. You should have a nice thick batter.
Put a heavy-bottomed frying pan over high heat and pour in sunflower oil until it’s about 1 cm deep (not quite half an inch). When oil is hot (test by putting a drop of batter in to see if it sizzles right away), carefully drop heaping tablespoons of batter into the oil. Fry for three and a half minutes, then carefully flip. Turn heat down a notch if needed (if the fritters are dark brown or blackened). Fry for an additional 2–3 minutes, monitoring closely. Remove to a plate covered with paper towels and keep warm (for instance, in a slightly warmed oven). Drop remaining batter in by heaping tablespoons, and repeat frying times, this time turning the heat up a notch at flipping time if needed. Again, monitor closely to achieve a perfect golden hue.
Sprinkle with snipped parsley and serve with parsley sprigs and lime wedges.