cauliflower and cumin fritters with lime yoghurt sauce

September 26, 2011

I’ve been meaning to share these fritters with you for quite some time but somehow it’s been escaping me. My adventures in Pakistani food last week jolted me into remembering my mad love for cumin, cinnamon, turmeric and the like.

Crunchy on the outside; warm, soft and spicy on the inside; these fritters make a perfect lunch or brunch. The lime yoghurt sauce is such a treat to serve with them, offering a cool reprieve from the spice. Balance, balance, balance.

By the way, yes I know that frying/deep frying can be a pain in the bum (I have the oil-spattered walls to prove it) but it’s worth it here – the fritters only need a few minutes per side to turn into perfect little discs. Serve them alongside a green salad or inside warm pita bread.

Cauliflower and Cumin Fritters with Lime Yoghurt Sauce

From Ottolenghi: The Cookbook (serves 4)


For the fritters

  • 1 small cauliflower (about 320g)
  • 120g plain flour (1 cup all purpose flour)
  • 3 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley plus a few extra leaves to garnish
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 500ml (2 cups) sunflower or other neutral vegetable oil for frying

For the lime yoghurt

  • 300g (1 1/4 cups) Greek yoghurt
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped cilantro with a couple of leaves reserved to garnish
  • grated zest of 1 lime
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper


  1. Make the yoghurt sauce first by whisking the ingredients (reserving a little oil and sprig of coriander) all together in a bowl. Put aside in the fridge, pour over a little oil and sprinkle with a couple of leaves of coriander to serve.
  2. Prepare the cauliflower by removing the leaves and dividing into small florets. Cooking in a large pan of simmering salted water for around 15 minutes until soft. Drain.
  3. Meanwhile, whisk together in a bowl the eggs, flour, parsley, garlic, shallots, spices, salt and pepper. When mixed well, add the soft warm cauliflower and stir breaking down the cauliflower into the batter.
  4. Heat the sunflower oil (at a depth of 1.5cm) in a wide pan and heat.  When very hot, spoon 3 tbsp worth blobs of batter carefully into the oil to cook.  Avoid overcrowding them, cook maybe 3 at a time spacing them apart with a fish slice.  Fry for 3-4 minutes each side then remove from the pan and drain on kitchen paper.
  5. Serve immediately with the yoghurt sauce.


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