These are so easy to make and a little bit different, yet are a hit with adults and children alike, thanks to vivid colour and sweet, subtly earthy flavour. The batter benefits from ‘resting’ to allow the eggs to absorb the flour so this is a great prepare ahead canapé: just stir in the beetroot and fry for a few minutes once your guests arrive. You can also make the fritters in advance and warm in the oven when ready to serve.
Jazz these little fritters up with feta for non-vegans (and children!) and add caraway seeds for a subtle aniseed flavour that pairs fabulously with the sweetness of the beetroots. Mint, dill and coriander are also very welcome to the party.
I don’t bother to peel the beetroots, I just give them a good scrub in cold water. If I am making a large batch of fritters, I use the grater attachment on my food processor but if I am just making them for me, it’s no drama to coarsely grate them with a sturdy box grater (I like the OXO Good Grips one).
Ingredients (makes 10-12)
400g raw beetroot
1 red onion
50g gram (chickpea) flour – sieved
Finely chopped mint/dill/coriander
Sprinkle of caraway seeds (optional but recommended)
Oil to fry
- Cut the roots and stalks off the beetroots and scrub them well with plenty of water. Use a peeler to remove any scabby bits of skin before grating.
- Dice or grate the red onion.
- Whisk the eggs, seasoning and gram flour together and leave to ‘rest’ for about 20 minutes.
Heat up a good splash of oil (about 2 tablespoons should be sufficient to fry the whole batch) in a large frying pan on a medium to high temperature whilst you stir the grated beetroot and onion, caraway seeds – if using – and herbs into the batter.
- Fry your fritters in batches – say 3-4 a go, depending on the size of your frying pan. I use a desert spoon to dollop the batter into the pan, and then flatten the fritter carefully with the back of the spoon (they are quite crumbly given the lack of gluten in the batter).
- Swirl the oil gently as they cook; they should take around 2-3 minutes to lightly brown on each side. Remove each fritter promptly, place on a wad of kitchen roll to blot the excess oil, and if cooking a large batch, keep warm in the oven whilst you cook the rest of the mixture.
A light to medium bodied, fresh, herbaceous red such as Blason Cabernet Franc from Friuli, Italy’s north west corner, works well with the fragrant herbs and beetroot’s earthiness.