Eggplant Fritters in Chickpea Batter

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  • 300g Eggplants – Lebanese style (long)
  • 1 cup Chickpea/Besan flour
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup maize meal or semolina
  • Oil for deep frying


Choose the eggplants which are young, thin and slender for this recipe. Firstly prepare the batter for the eggplants by mixing in all the dry ingredients together except the maize/semolina.  Now add the water a little at a time but not all at once because the batter needs to be a very thick consistency. In the meantime have the oil for deep frying on the cooker to heat.  Once the required thickness of the batter is reached set it aside while you wash and pat dry the egg plants using absorbent paper. Then top and tail them and cut them into bite size pieces like Sushi.

When the oil for deep frying is hot it can be tested by lowering a small piece of bread and if it starts to cook and turns golden quickly then the oil is ready for frying. Lower each cut side of the eggplant into the prepared batter to coat well then dip the coated ends into the maize meal or semolina (for ‘crunch’) and immediately fry them in the hot oil. If the eggplant  selected is tender to begin with then it shouldn’t take long to cook, a matter of 2 or 3 minutes or until the batter at each ends turns golden brown in colour. Remove with slotted spoon then place into a sieve and pat dry onto an absorbent paper to get rid of any excess oil.  When cooked they should have crunchy ends and soft middle, yum! Serve them as starters with yogurt or your choice of sauce.

Variations and Suggestions

I first tried this recipe when living in Shanghai. I was missing my style of food so much that I decided to experiment my fusion cooking. Because Chickpea flour wasn’t sold there I ended up using all purpose flour but luckily the maize meal was available for the crunch. The batter can be made with an egg to make it light and fluffy but not if you prefer it to be a vegan dish. Gauge the water for the batter accordingly because the consistency should be thick enough to coat the ends of eggplant pieces.  When this dish is eaten fresh out of the hot oil be aware that the eggplant center would be extremely hot but yummy no doubt.

Instead of my favourite pakora (vegetable fritters) recipe do try this recipe, especially if you love eggplant. The young slender size of the eggplant is important for this recipe because it certainly is juicy when cooked and takes next to no time to cook as well.  Yogurt dressed with fresh mint would be an ideal dip for this recipe or choose your own favourite.


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