This recipe gets us back to the Entertaining with Spice series. Today’s edition is a split pea fritter, that essentially combines flavors from the South and Western regions of India. It is a little tricky in the grinding but otherwise these addictive fritters are great to make an serve.
Fritters such as these are called vadas, and wait their are several variations, the common ingredient being a pulse and the fact that they are fried. So, I picked a legume that is very commonly available, as split peas are something that you can pick up in any supermarket or grocery store. These fritters are also both gluten-free and vegan making them quite suited for most people on your table. They are also the pick me up kind of fritter than can be served with minimal fuss. And of course if you want to get a tad fancy, you can serve them with toothpicks and tamarind chutney on the side.
So, the first thing to do is to soak about 2 cups of split peas overnight. It is important to allow them enough soaking time, or they will not soften and work as desired.
About 1/3 of the split peas get worked up with some water, garlic, dill and spices into a smooth and thick paste.
The remainder is drained completely and then processed into a smooth powdery mixture, and then they are mixed up and fried to little fritters of deliciousness.
A vegetable and lentil fritter with dill, garlic and spices. Perfect for a crowd. Vegan and Gluten-Free
- 2 cups of split peas
- Water for soaking
- 1/3 cup dill
- 3 green chilies
- 4 pods of garlic
- 11/2 teaspoons of salt
- 11/2 teaspoons of turmeric
- 1 medium sized sweet potato, grated
- 1/4 cup very finely shredded cabbage
- 1 small onion, cut into a fine dice
- 2 cups of oil (such as canola or grapeseed oil)
- Soak the split peas overnight.
- Remove 1/3 of the mixture and add with 1/3 cup of water, dill, garlic and grind in a blender or food processor to a thick paste.
- Set this aside in a large mixing bowl.
- Drain the remaining split peas well and place in the bowl of a food processor and blend to a smooth texture, you will need to scrape down the sides and it is ok if a few pieces of the peas remain.
- Place the mixture in the same bowl as the previous paste and mix well. Stir in the salt and the turmeric and mix in the sweet potato, cabbage and onions and mix well.
- Place the oil in a skillet and heat well.
- Shape the mixture into small 2 inch sized cakes, they will be crumbly and will hold loosely but will stay and bind when placed in the hot oil.
- Place about 4 to 5 of these at a time, depending on the size of skillet or wok.
- Cook for about 4 minutes on each side. The cakes should turn golden and they they should be turned. They should be fairly well browned.
- Remove from the oil and drain on paper towels before serving.
Most of the prep time is for soaking the split peas.