Sweetcorn fritters have a special place in my heart – they are quite divine, despite the fact that fresh kernels will explode if the heat is too high! (Be careful!) Often this property of sweet corn is not mentioned in recipes, leading to disastrous or painful results. Pulse fresh corn kernels very briefly in a small blender or chopper to lessen this property, steam them (altho I’ve also had problems with steamed ones) or use tinned corn kernels.
Ottolenghi is in the group of recipe authors that do not mention the potential of vigorous explosions when cooking sweetcorn kernels over heat. This recipe is from Plenty More and is made absolutely delightful with the inclusion of a small chilli (as mild or as hot as you like) in each one. Use one with a little heat if you like.
You could put a whole chilli into each fritter, but that is pretty brutal unless you have an exceptional tolerance for heat. I also found that strips of the chilli cooked much better. A compromise is to use small padron or similar capsicum that is mostly innocuous. You can also leave out the chilli altogether – the fritters will still be very tasty.
Note that we feel free to play with Ottolenghi’s recipe to suit what is in our garden, pantry and fridge or to suit our dietary preferences. We have made over 200 of Ottolenghi’s recipes, so we feel we have earned this right. In this recipe, as we don’t cook with eggs, we’ve replaced them with our usual fritter egg replacement mix – cream and chickpea flour. For his original recipes check out his books and Guardian column.
Browse all of our Sweetcorn recipes and all of our Fritters. Our Ottolenghi dishes from Plenty More are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through this book. Or explore our Early Autumn recipes.
Sweetcorn and Butternut Fritters with Spicy Peppers
ingredients for four
4 – 6 Tblspn chickpea flour
3 Tblspn cream
100ml coconut milk
75g self-raising flour
0.75 tspn cumin powder
1.5 tspn coriander powder
0.5 tspn turmeric powder
3 Tblspn coriander seeds
225g peeled butternut (about a third of a butternut), grated
300g corn kernels (frozen or fresh)
3 spring onions, trimmed and thinly sliced
15g chopped green coriander
0.5 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped (or more, to taste)
Sunflower oil, for frying
100g padron capsicums or other small peppers, or use strips of banana capsicum or sweet capsicum
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 limes, cut into wedges
If using fresh sweetcorn kernels, pulse the sweetcorn kernels in a food processor for a couple of blasts, to break up the sweetcorn kernels a little – to minimise exploding kernels while cooking. Alternatively the kernels can be steamed until softened before using. If you are using tinned corn I have never had any exploding problems with that corn.
Put the first 12 ingredients in a large mixing bowl and whisk to a homogeneous batter. Add more chickpea flour if it is too wet, more cream or coconut milk if too dry.
Add the butternut, sweetcorn, spring onions, green coriander and chilli, and stir to combine.
Pour enough sunflower oil into a medium frying pan to come 2cm up the sides. Place the pan over a medium-high heat for a few minutes, until the oil is hot. Scoop a heaped tablespoon of batter into the oil and cook for a couple of minutes. Using your hand or a pair of tongs, carefully push 2 or 3 chilli strips (depending on size) into the surface of the fritter while it is frying and fry for another minute. Turn over with a fish slice and fry for a further three minutes, until golden-brown all over. Transfer to a plate covered with kitchen towel and keep warm. Throughout the frying, monitor the temperature of the oil, so the fritter doesn’t brown too quickly and the sweet corn does not explode.
Repeat with the remaining batter. Once all the fritters are cooked, serve hot, with lime wedges on the side to squeeze over.