Friday, June 29, 2012

Spiced Cauliflower Fritters with Lime Yogurt Sauce

These fabulous Spiced Cauliflower Fritters with Yogurt & Lime Sauce are a cross between a bhaji and a pakora, with bright Middle Eastern flavours that are bold, colourful and spicy. Adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi's first cookbook, Ottlenghi: The Cookbook, the recipes are based on some of their more iconic sweet and savoury dishes served at their restaurants which have sprung up across London, starting in Notting Hill in 2002, with branches now in Islington, Kesington and Belgravia.

Yotam Ottolenghi's first cookbook

Yotam and Sami’s inventive yet simple dishes are inspired by their respective childhoods in West and East Jerusalem, but rest on numerous other culinary traditions, ranging from North Africa to Lebanon, and Italy to California. The 140 original recipes in their cookbook cover everything from meat and fish main courses through to many healthy and quick salads, plus Ottolenghi's delectable cakes and breads with their trademark style: dishes that deliver sunshine on a plate, full of colour, texture, and bursting with bright flavours. 

Yotam Ottolenghi

A simple and delicious recipe, all you really need to do to make the Cauliflower Fritters is pre-cook the florets in salted water, drain them and as they cool, simply whisk everything else together, adding the cauliflower at the end, mashing it up a little bit with the whisk. The fritters can be made either large, as the cookbook suggests, or as small bite-size appetizers, which I prefer. Served with a bowl of tangy Lime Yogurt Sauce, these fritters are just one of the fabulous recipes to be found in Ottlenghi: The Cookbook. Soon to be released in October 2012, is their next cookbook, Jerusalem! I can hardly wait.

The upcoming and soon to be released cookbook

"Our feast is, literally, a feast of bold colours and generous gestures. It's driven by an unapologetic desire to celebrate food and its virtues, to display abundance in the same way a market stallholder does: show everything you've got and shout its praise whole heartedly."
Yotam Ottolenghi 

Spiced Cauliflower Fritters with Lime-Yogurt Sauce
Serves 4
Adapted from Ottolenghi The Cookbook

1 small cauliflower, about 1 cup, chopped into tiny florets
3/4 cup flour
3 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 spring onions, chopped
4 eggs
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
sunflower oil for frying

Lime-Yogurt Sauce:
3/4 cup Greek yogurt
2 tbsp finely chopped cilantro

zest and juice of one lime
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp honey
salt and black pepper

Put all the ingredients for the sauce in a small bowl and mix well. Taste and adjust lemon and salt as required. Place the cauliflower florets into a large pot of boiling salted water and cook for 15 minutes, or until they're very soft, then drain in a colander.

Meanwhile put the flour, chopped cilantro, garlic, onions, eggs and spices in a bowl and whisk together. When smooth add the hot cauliflower and whisk together to break down the cauliflower into the batter. Taste and add more salt if necessary.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan or wok. When the oil is hot, carefully add large or small spoonfuls of the batter to the oil, depending on the size of fritter you prefer. Fry in small batches, about 2 minutes per side, or until they're golden brown. Remove the fritters as they're done and drain on paper towel, keeping them warm in a low oven while you cook the rest. 
Serve warm or at room temperature with a bowl of Lime-Yogurt Sauce.