Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Fish & Purslane Fritters


The small variety of fish that I bought today reminded me of my mother's fish pakodas and I kept some aside for the same. I remember with such fondness some of the simple but delicious treats that we had as children. And although the taste of food that came from a wood-fire cannot be recreated, this version isn't bad either. 
Sometimes it's the leftovers that leads you to another dish. I had a bit of rice flour left and I needed to finish this batch off. This was the wet variety. I had soaked the rice and ground it for thickening a particular curry a day earlier. And who doesn't love the crunch that comes from rice flour?!
Ingredients:
100 grams small river fish, cleaned 
1/3 cup rice flour
2 tbs all-purpose flour
A dash of baking soda bicarbonate
A pinch of turmeric powder
Salt to taste
2 hot chillies, chopped fine
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped fine
3-4 serrated coriander + extra for sprinkling on the dish later
One small piece of ginger, finely sliced
Mustard oil to deep fry

Method:
Transfer the rice flour to a bowl. Add the all-purpose flour.
Add very little water. The batter should be thick.
Add all the other ingredients other than oil and fish.
Give it a good mix.
Lastly add the fish. Mix well so that the fish is coated with the batter.
Heat the oil in a pan and let it come to smoking point.
Take spoonfuls of the batter and drop them in the hot oil.
Reduce the heat a bit so that the fritters are evenly cooked.
Turn once when it becomes golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon when the other side is done. Place them on kitchen paper.
Transfer to a serving platter and sprinkle the chopped herbs.
Fish & purslane fritters
Common purslane/Portulaca oleracea
Purslane wasn't on my mind today.But with a bit of batter left over I hurried to my front-yard where these (edible) weeds are threatening to take over my small circular flower bed. I picked a bunch, washed them and plunged them in the batter. Oh, I did add another spoonful of flour and a bit of water to the batter. But nothing else! Since the stems, leaves, buds and flowers are edible, I simply dipped them one by one in the batter and fried them till they turned golden brown.
Fish and purslane fritters
A closer look at the purslane fritters
The Common Purslane/Portulaca Oleracea does well during this season. I had tried planting them in my backyard but I think these plants do best where they appear. So the best thing is to let them be and try to include them in our diet as often as possible. Purslane is said to contain more omega-3 fatty acids than any other leafy vegetable. It also contains vitamins and dietary minerals. The presence of oxalate in this vegetable makes the taste slightly acidic. But not in a bad way.
These fritters taste good on their own but we had them as an accompaniment to our lunch of rice, dal and another vegetable.
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