When you pass through the produce department are you the type who sees a stack of vegetables and enjoys the thought of chopping and dicing, or do you see that as a huge chore? If you are on the latter team then Heinen’s ready-chopped and riced vegetables are just for you. Either way you cut it, this recipe for delicious vegetable fritters is loaded with riced cauliflower, diced peppers and chopped red onion as well as corn for a touch of sweetness. Warm savory spices add another dimension for layers of flavor. Most all of these veggies can be picked up, cut and ready to toss into the mix. How easy is that?
You can add a mixed green salad for a light vegetarian dinner, or serve these vegetable fritters as an appetizer for your next gathering. Any way you serve them they’ll be a big hit.
I make this recipe to clean up the fridges’ remnants. You can use just about any vegetable and it always tastes fantastic. If you use vegetables high in water content like zucchini, be sure to squeeze out all the moisture after they are shredded.
I’m serving these fritters with a cool creamy Raita. Raita is to Indian food what tzatziki is to Greek food. It is a yogurt-based condiment. You will find many variations of this sauce, but most Raita recipes are more likely to include a spicy element like cumin, cayenne pepper and ginger. Today I’m using cumin and toasted brown mustard seeds. They look like caviar spooned onto the sauce but lend a warm burst of flavor to the cool savory yogurt.
These fritters are a family favorite. The vegetables are slightly sweet and the spices add a slight heat without overpowering. Then, the crispy fried edges with the cool savory yogurt create layers of flavors and textures, hot cool smooth and crispy, that keep you reaching for more. They’re great hot, but equally delicious cold, so they make a perfect next day lunch…if you manage to have any left overs.
For the Fritters
- 1 cup sweet yellow corn
- 1 cup riced cauliflower
- 1/4 cup fine diced red onion
- 3 tablespoons chopped parsley
- 1/2 cup diced peppers (red yellow green)
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 2 tsp fried brown mustard seeds (see instructions)
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 cup canola oil for cooking
For the Raita
- 3 teaspoons ground cumin (see note below)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 4 teaspoons black or brown mustard seed
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk Greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 2 green onions, ends trimmed and minced, plus more for garnish 1/3 bunch cilantro, stems and all, minced, plus more for garnish 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
- First, prep the spices.
- Heat olive oil in a skillet, then add mustard seeds and cook just until the first few pop, 1 – 2 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and set pan aside to cool. When cool, strain mustard seeds from the oil. Reserve 2 teaspoons of seeds for the fritters and use the rest remaining seeds and the oil for drizzling over Raita just before serving.
- In a medium bowl, stir to combine yogurt, lemon juice, 1 Tbsp. olive oil, green onions, cilantro and 1 teaspoon each of ground cumin, fried mustard seeds and sea salt.
- Cover and set in fridge while you make the fritters.
- In a large bowl of a food processor, add the flour, brown sugar, sugar, baking powder, cayenne, salt, pepper and 1/4 cup of the corn.
- Pulse until blended together, then transfer mixture to a mixing bowl. Stir in remaining corn, peppers, cauliflower, onion, parsley, mustard seeds and milk, mixing until a batter forms. It should be the consistency of a thick pancake batter.
- Add oil to a large skillet saucepan and heat over medium high heat. You only need enough oil to coat the pan. This is a shallow fry, not a deep fry. To test your oil, sprinkle a few drops of water in the pan. If they sizzle, your pan is ready. You can also test the oil with a wooden spoon. The oil will start bubbling around the spoon.
- When the oil is hot, add a little less than 1/4 cup of batter to the skillet and then quickly smooth the batter out to a circle. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, flip and cook another 2 minutes, or until brown and crispy all over. The veggie fritters are ready to flip when they are golden brown.
- Remove and repeat with the remaining batter until all the batter has been used. Keep the fritters warm.
- Just before serving, spoon Raita into a serving bowl and swirl with a spoon. Drizzle with reserved mustard seeds and oil, and sprinkle with chili powder and reserved green onion and cilantro. Serve fritters with a big dollop of Raita and a few cherry tomatoes.
Note: Try using whole cumin seeds and toast and grind your own. It’s easy! Simply set a small skillet over medium heat. Add cumin seed and, shaking the pan a bit, cook just until seeds are fragrant, 1 – 2 minutes. Stay with it, they will burn quickly. Grind toasted seeds with a mortar and pestle or spice grinder. Give it a try.