Wednesday, March 02, 2011

February 20, 2011: Beetroot fritters

I'm not quite sure how we ended up making this - after going a bit overboard at Misty's Diner, we agreed that it was time we at a meal with loads of vegies in it. This ticks that box fairly well (beetroot, chickpeas, greens, lots of herbs) but is basically shallow-fried, greatly reducing its healthiness quotient. I'm glad we left logic behind, though, because these little fritters were fantastic - the chunky chickpeas and earthy beetroot combining into a patty of purple goodness.

In the end (largely through my own lack of skill and/or patience), these turned out more like thick burger patties and less like the fritters they were supposed to be. I'm going to claim that it was intentional though - I reckon they'd be fantastic on a bun with a bit more salad.

Beetroot fritters with lemon and saffron sauce yoghurt 
(taken from Ottolenghi's Guardian blog)

3 large beetroot, cooked, peeled and grated
1 can chickpeas, roughly chopped (the full chickpeas you can see in the picture of these fritters will demonstrate how ineffectual I was at this task)
2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped
4 garlic shoots, finely chopped
zest of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon tahini
1 egg, lightly beaten
salt and pepper to taste
oil for frying

Yoghurt sauce
1 pinch saffron threads
250g yoghurt
2 teaspoons olive oil
juice of half a lemon

Soak the saffron in a couple of teaspoons of warm water for a few minutes, and then combine with the rest of the sauce ingredients.

Squeeze the grated beetroot to remove the excess liquid as best you can - I found this a bit of a struggle, and ended up looking like I'd killed something. Still, the drier you can get the beetroot shavings, the easier the patty making (and frying) will be.

Combine the beetroot and all the other patty ingredients in a big bowl and mix thoroughly.

Pour enough oil into a frying pan to get a good 1cm deep oil pool. Heat the oil over medium heat until it's at frying power.

Roll the mix into balls in your hands, and then flatten them into roughly circular burger-sized patties and pop them in the oil to fry. This will probably get a bit messy and frustrating, but if the oil is hot enough, the patties will bind together pretty well once they start cooking.

Fry for a couple of minutes on each side, until the edges are crisping up. Serve with greens and a generous dab of the yoghurt sauce.


  1. I can imagine how good these fritters are just by looking at that list of ingredients. Yum!

  2. They'd make great burgers!

    Look at that colour...lovely stuff.

  3. I make a very similar thing, but bake them (so they don't become unhealthy!).

    I just roll them into balls, no matter how haphazard, plop them on a baking tray with baking paper on it, squish them down slightly with a greased spatula, and then brush them with a smidge of oil on top so they will go brown. Then I bake them for about 20 minutes at about 200C, flip them over with the spatula, and then bake for another 20 mins.

    Easy and not greasy! :-)

  4. These sound magnificent. This Ottolenghi guy sounds kinda like a genius.

  5. These look magificent. I've never come across anything remotely like them.

  6. I'm not particularly fab in the kitchen but having been lent Ottolenghi's cookbook 'Plenty' has seen me making damn good use of it. These sound awesome and I can't wait to make them, might try them next week.

    I actually like that you can see whole chickpeas and that they are thicker than fritters. My mouth is watering!

  7. They look great, I never know what to do with beetroot so I will have to try these.

  8. so is this the new burgur?

    I don't mind the frying part. but grating beets... oh well, can be a nightmare.

  9. Yum, these look sensational! I reckon I could get my carnivorous other half to enjoy these too since he LOVES beetroot. I think I might wait till I get my food processor so it can do the grating for me :)