We are starting yet another BM Edition today, with first week for BM# 53 being 'Bring on Fritters'. When I picked up this theme, I actually was thinking about Batters, Breading and Coatings. I love that topic and always look out for doing dishes under this one. I enjoy knowing how each of these techniques vary from one another and how it varies among the different world cuisines.
Somehow I was looking at the fried fritters and ended up asking everybody to bring on Fritters. Still this alone calls for so many techniques. Fritters refer to any food that's coated with a batter and deep fried. So we have so many options, right from vegetable to meat. When we talk about fried food with batters, we have so many options in Indian Cuisine. We use so many different flours to make the batter that's used for frying.
However when it comes to the other cuisine, I noticed that they mostly use All purpose flour with a range of leavening agents to make the batter light. Whereas we do not follow that, and stick to flours and plain water. Of course exceptions are those fond of alcohol and have experienced other cuisines and have wanted to try it with our methods.
The different liquids that are added to the flour, gives different texture to the fried food. The basic batter is prepared by mixing in flour with water. However we can use Ice Cold water, Soda, Alcohol etc. Adding these extra ingredients makes your fries more crunchy. The theory behind why the batter tends to become solid or soggy, is the Gluten or
the protein. When we use ice cold batter and fry right away, we do not let the gluten develop. When we use soda, it fills up the batter with Carbon di oxide and the batter becomes light as in a cake.
So apart from the basic water and flour batter, we can mix in Baking powder. This batter again should not let to sit as it looses its leavening power.
Next comes the Beer Batter, where beer is added, however for non alcoholic version we can use club soda. So examples for this would be Tempura, the Japanese Fried Food.In American and European Cuisines, you will the fritters are also prepared by adding egg to it. This gives the batter its leavening power as well the emulsification properties.Then the Middle east Cuisines have the yeast batter, where yeast is used and the prepared batter is let to sit for an hour before preparation for the batter to double.
All of the above are not just specific to one cuisine. The techniques are found around the globe.
When we talk about the actual frying, deep fried food should not be greasy. The greasiness depends on the Oil temperature and the amount of food fried. Its said that the oil should not be smoking hot, at the same time so mild. If you have a thermometer, check it to be between 365 to 370°F. However if you do not have a thermometer, you can let the oil heat up, drop a small piece of batter into the hot oil, if it sizzles up right away, it means the oil is hot enough. Also there has to be lot of regulation happening. We need to constantly simmer and increase to maintain the temperature.Another factor that contributes to the greasiness is the amount of food fried. Always fry in batches. After removing, let the oil reach the right temperature before frying the next batch.
I know what was supposed to be sinful treat ended up being a lecture in guise. I wanted to record these for myself more than anything!
First in the series is a Tempura, the Japanese way of making a Fritter. They use a variety of food ingredients. The batter would be constant with different stuffing.
I made it first with Baby Corn and the Baby corn Tempura are so yum!. In today's recipe I replaced the egg with corn
starch and Ice cold water.
These delicious tempura goes for my Kids Delight event, hosted by Sandhya themed on Snacking all the way.
Corn Starch - 2 tbsp
All purpose flour - 1 cup
Baking Soda a pinch
Cauliflower florets -1 cup
Salt to taste
Ground Pepper powder - 1 tsp
Oil for deep frying
How to make the Tempura
Wash and blanch the cauliflower florets in hot water for 5 mins. Drain well.
Heat the oil, meanwhile mix the batter in a bowl making sure there are no lumps.
Dip the drained cauliflower into the batter and when the oil is hot, immediately drop in.
Using a slotted spoon, flip the fritters on both sides to get cooked well. Cook on medium flame for the tempura to get cooked fully.
Drain on a kitchen towel and continue with the rest of the batch.
Serve with tomato sauce.
If you are not making the entire batch right away, its best if you mix the batter just before frying.
You can season with salt and pepper after frying as well.
Instead of blanching you can saute in oil and season the cauliflower as well.
Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM