They are a classic Bengali snack and can be done with any vegetable of your choice the popular favorites being eggplant, pumpkin and potatoes. This particular variation comes to me from my father’s neighbor. My grand mother (thakuma) lived away from the main city and visiting her was usually a planned affair that extended over a day. Their old neighborhood still retained some vestiges of the simplicity of village life. When we visited various people dropped by to chat or just say hello. Without any invitation of warning.
One of the places we always stopped by was Loti-di’s home. She was a distant relative who lived adjacent to my grandmother. Widowed at an early age, she had no children and enjoyed living vicariously through my grandmother’s brood. Despite her spartan pantry, these treats were always available on short notice. She did not peel the potatoes and the skin in these fritters add an amazing layer of complexity. Spiked with bits of green chilies, she often offered these with puffed rice or muri and small cups of tea. The ratio of vegetable to batter is important, it should have a thin crisp outer coating enveloping soft well done veggies.
3/4 cup of chickpea flour, sifted
2 tablespoon rice flour
1 and 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 and 1/2 teaspoon nigella seeds or cumin seeds
3/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon of red cayenne pepper (if you like it spicy, you can up this to 1 teaspoon)
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro (leaves and tender stems)
2 green chilies, minced
3/4 cup of lukewarm water
1/2 red onion, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
Canola or grape seed oil for frying (about 1 cup)
3 medium sized potatoes, thinly sliced (Use organic potatoes, scrub the skins and leave them on) or you can use 1/2 pound of winter squash, peeled and thinly sliced
Full recipe: Bengali Potato or Pumpkin Fritters