Gluten-Free & Crispy Eggplant Fritters

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20160607_184000Indian cuisine has a long and interesting history of cooking with obscure vegetables. That makes sense when you realise that more than half the nation is vegetarian. From bitter gourd and apple gourd to snake squash, there is a recipe out there that is undoubtedly full of flavour, wholesome and unmistakably spicy. Eggplant or as it’s known in the rest of the world, aubergine is unusual on the menu in North America but is an integral part of Indian food. This humble and long under-appreciated vegetable is low in calories, and high in dietary fibre and antioxidants. It is one of my favourite vegetables but with it’s slightly bitter undertone I can see why it may be a tough sell on the dinner table. That’s where these eggplant fritters come in.

The robust eggplant or baingan (in Hindi) can take on a lot of flavour and cooking techniques – roasted, fried, cooked whole or stuffed, the options are endless. But an easy and delicious way of cooking the eggplant is the baingan kachri – chickpea flour coated crispy and savoury eggplant fritters. Cooked with just a few spices and a hint of ginger this dish is a hit in our home. Because of the chickpea flour it is high in protein, naturally vegan and even gluten free!Crispy Indian Eggplant Fritters made with chickpea flour | Vegetarian, Gluten-free, High Protein, Vegan | Side Dishes | Indian Food | MapleandMarigold.com

Crispy Savoury Indian Eggplant Fritters

High in protein, this dish works really well as a vegetarian side or as the star attraction on the dinner table for a quick and easy weeknight meal. The combination of chickpea flour and rice flour in the batter gives it a crunchy pakoda-like outer crispiness with the mellow eggplant inside. Delicious! And I’m glad the kids get their daily intake of 5-10 a day with no complaints.

Kitchen Tips

  • Use an oil that has a high smoke point and will not add it’s own flavour to the eggplant. I use canola oil for a lot of my Indian cooking for these reasons.
  • The batter will keep in the fridge for a few days. You can water it down slightly to make savoury and spicy chickpea flour pancakes the following day.
  • The step salting the sliced eggplant is important so that the fritters use less oil and cook faster.
  • Serve with coconut rice that complements the eggplant fritters really well.

Crispy Indian Eggplant Fritters made with chickpea flour | Vegetarian, Gluten-free, High Protein, Vegan | Side Dishes | Indian Food | MapleandMarigold.com

Crispy Indian Eggplant Fritters made with chickpea flour | Vegetarian, Gluten-free, High Protein, Vegan | Side Dishes | Indian Food | MapleandMarigold.com

Savoury Eggplant Fritters made with Chickpea flour

Print Recipe
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Indian
Keyword Gluten Free, Vegan
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Servings 4
Author Puneeta

Ingredients

  • One medium sized eggplant - sliced in 1/4 in pieces
  • For the batter
  • Chickpea flour - one cup
  • Rice flour - 1/2 cup
  • Onions finely chopped - 1/2 cup
  • Coriander powder - 1 tsp
  • Baking powder - 1 tsp
  • Pepper - 1/4 tsp
  • Water - 1 cup
  • Salt for the eggplant and the batter

Instructions

  • Place paper towels on a baking sheet and then line the sliced eggplants on top in a single layer.
  • Salt the eggplant liberally. In approx. 10 minutes you will see sweat beads form on the eggplant.
  • Place another layer of paper towels to soak up the liquid and push down to absorb up as much of the liquid as possible.
  • Flip the slices of eggplant over and repeat.
  • Meanwhile mix the ingredients for the batter.
  • Add in the water and whisk.
  • The consistency of the liquid should be medium-thick so that it sticks to coat the eggplant
  • Set the batter aside for 10 mins while you finish prepping the sliced eggplants.
  • Pour enough oil in the heated pan to cover the base. Turn the heat to medium.
  • Dip the slices in the batter, coat on both sides and use tongs to place in the hot oil.
  • 3-4 minutes on either side will see the batter crisp up to a dark golden brown.
  • Serve with coconut rice.

Crispy Indian Eggplant Fritters made with chickpea flour | Vegetarian, Gluten-free, High Protein, Vegan | Side Dishes | Indian Food | MapleandMarigold.com

Puneeta Chhitwal-Varma<br/><small>Photo by Tanvi Madkaiker</small>
Puneeta Chhitwal-Varma
Photo by Tanvi Madkaiker

About Puneeta

Author, Educator, Speaker

Puneeta is a writer, food advocate and guide for those who seek earth-friendly, delicious solutions that work for real life.

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