Sunday, September 15, 2013

Green on Green--Green Tomato and Chutney Fritters




I look outside at the tomato patch every morning while sipping my day-sustaining brew. On most days the New York Times has my undivided attention, but as summer draws to a close I feel the lure of freshly picked veggies. And so my head bobs between paper and patch. Distracted by intrusive thoughts of foodie cravings. I cast the paper aside to pick a sheetpan of red and green tomatoes. Green ones? Yes I cannot share anymore with the squirrels! These cute varmints dont differentiate between red and green, habitually make teeth marks into the juiciest ones, making me MAD. It's not like I don't share! This year they have made a feast of the figs! 

Cilantro chutney beckons in the fridge. Having dispatched some into sandwiches I decide to use the rest as a filling for a fat slice of unripe tomato. A quick dip in besan batter and a spicy crunchy version of one of summer's quintessential fritter is born. Albeit, by way of Bombay! 


Green Tomato and Chutney Fritters
Makes 8 to 10 


2 large Green Tomatoes
Kosher Salt
Black Pepper
Canola oil in the wok or deep fryer 

Fritter Batter
3 tablespoons Besan or Chickpea Flour
A pinch of Turmeric
1/4 teaspoon Chile powder
1/4 teaspoon Cumin Powder
A pinch of Baking Soda
1/8 teaspoon Kosher Salt


Cilantro Chutney 
1/4 cup Cilantro Leaves
2 teaspoon grated Coconut
1 or 2 Green Chiles..depending on how spicy you like your chutney
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon Sugar
3 tablespoons Lime Juice


Start with the chutney. 

Wash cilantro leaves and place in a blender or food processor

Grind cilantro and all the other items to a smooth paste. Do not use water or it will dilute the chutney. 

Mix all the ingredients for the fritter batter in a bowl till the batter looks smooth. 

Let the batter sit for at least 20 minutes to an hour.

Heat the oil when you are ready to fry.

Slice the tomatoes 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. 

Make a slit 3/4 way into the slice and stuff with a teaspoon of chutney. Press down to close.


Stuff all the slices the same way.

Season the slices with salt and pepper.

Dip the slices in the fritter batter and gently lower into the hot oil.

Fry till golden brown. 

Drain on paper towels and eat them while they are piping hot!


Notes

When you wash the cilantro for the chutney, leave as much water as you can on the leaves as this facilities the grinding.

When green tomatoes are out of season you could easily substitute potatoes, onions or eggplant.

I use a kadhai to fry. woks or deepfat fryers work well too.