Iranian herb fritters

By YOTAM OTTOLENGHI
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These can be snacked on as they are, at room temperature, or served with a green tahini sauce and some extra herbs. If you want to make the tahini sauce, just blitz three tablespoons/50 grams tahini, 1 1/2 cups/30 grams parsley, 1/2 crushed garlic clove, two tablespoons lemon juice, and 1/8 teaspoon salt for 30 seconds and pour in 1/2 cup/120 millliters water. Adding the water last allows the parsley to get really broken up and turns the sauce as green as can be. This sauce is lovely spooned over all sorts of things—grilled meat and fish and roasted vegetables, for example—so double or triple the batch and keep it in the fridge. It keeps well for about five days. You might want to thin it with a little water or lemon juice to get it back to the right consistency.

These fritters are a bit of a fridge-raid, using up whatever herbs you have around. As long as you keep the total net weight the same and use a mixture of herbs, this will still work wonderfully. The batter will keep, uncooked, for one day in the fridge.

Alternatively, pile the fritters into pita bread with condiments, such as a combination of yogurt, chile sauce, pickled vegetables, and tahini. You’d just need one fritter per person, rather than two.

Makes eight fritters, to serve four to eight (depending on whether everyone is having one in a pita or two as they are).

SERVES
4
 TO
8
TOTAL TIME

Ingredients

  • 2 cups dill, finely chopped
  • 2 cups basil leaves, finely chopped
  • 2 cups cilantro leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs (from about 2 slices, crusts left on if soft)
  • 3 tablespoons barberries (or currants)
  • 1/3 cup walnut halves, lightly toasted and roughly chopped
  • 8 large eggs, beaten
  • Salt
  • 1/4 cup sunflower oil, for frying

Directions

  1. Place all the ingredients, apart from the oil, in a large bowl with 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Mix well to combine and set aside.
  2. Put two tablespoons of the oil into a large nonstick pan and place over medium-high heat. Once hot, add ladles of batter to the pan. Do four fritters at a time, if you can—you want each of them to be about 12 centimeters wide—otherwise just do two or three at a time. Fry for one to two minutes on each side, until crisp and golden brown. Transfer to a paper towel–lined plate and set aside while you continue with the remaining batter and oil.
  3. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Recipe excerpted from ‘Ottolenghi Simple cookbook’

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