Being a meat eater these days seems a bit like being a smoker 20 years ago (still socially accepted, but something that meat eaters are starting to feel guilty about). I know I’ve been posting a lot of meat dishes lately, so consider this recipe this week’s mia culpa (something I’m sure I’ll be doing with some frequency).
These shallow fried fritter’s are crispy on the outside and soft and spicy on the inside with little bursts of sweet crispy corn. Because there is no flour or egg to bind it all together it’s very delicate, but what it lacks in cohesiveness it makes up in a wonderful soft crumbly texture on the inside. I suppose this may also qualify as gluten-free, though I’m no expert.
If you can get your hands on fresh curry leaves, they add a wonderful fresh aroma that’s a bit hard to describe. I got a bag from a co-worker who picked them up at a spice market here in Manhattan. They shouldn’t be confused with “curry powder” as they are not related. Curry powder, as it turns out, is a British blend of spices created to approximate the taste of “Indian food”… who knew?
2 C cooked kasha (make it with a little extra water)
1/2 C fresh corn (or well drained canned/frozen corn)
6-8 small fresh curry leaves cut into a chiffonade (optional)
1 serrano or jalepeno pepper seeded and minced
1/4 C minced onion
2 tsp Garam Masala
1/2 tsp kosher salt
fresh ground black pepper
oil for frying
When cooking the kasha, make sure you add some extra water (how much will depend on the type of kasha you’re making). The idea is to get it to a soft state where it turns into a paste as you stir it. I know, this sound unappealing but it’s essential to get the ingredients to bind into patties and the frying will fix the texture. If it’s not pasty enough, try adding a bit more water and cooking for a little longer.
Mix all the ingredients together until it forms a rough paste.
Heat a pan over medium heat adding a thin layer of oil that’s thick enough to cover the bottom of the pan. When the oil is hot, form a ball of kasha mixture between your palms then squish it flat making sure all the edges are sticking together.
Gently place this in the hot oil. Be very careful as the corn will have a tendency to pop, splattering hot oil everywhere (if you have a spatter shield, it might be a good idea to use it). Repeat with the rest of the kasha until the pan is full. Wait until you see the sides of the fritters turn golden brown, then using 2 spatula’s (1 on top, 1 on the bottom), flip the fritters over cooking until the second side is well browned. You mean need to clean up the floaties in the oil between batches so they don’t burn.
Remove to a plate lined with several layers of paper towels and allow to drain. Serve immediately. I served them with some Thai sweet chili sauce and a mint yogurt sauce (1/4 C plain yogurt, 1 Tbs minced mint)