For as long as I can remember, corn fritters have been one of my favourite things to order if we’re heading out for a cafe lunch. I have fond memories of my first corn-frits experience in fact - my sister Nina and I were flatting at the bottom of Parnell near Auckland's CBD, and every Saturday used to head up for a special brunch treat at one of the nearby cafes. We would both order the corn fritters special - a towering stack of three ginormous fritters topped with roast tomato, sour cream, a sprinkling of salad and generous swig of sweet chilli sauce. So good were these fritters that we’d order the same thing, religiously... every time.
Since those early brunch days, corn fritters have continued to be one of my main stays at cafes (sub the bacon for mushrooms, tomato or spinach please). And while they are still a great choice if you’re out and about, most cafe versions do still use dairy milk, butter, white flour and eggs for their batter base. So of course I knew I had to create a completely plant-based, healthified and equally delicious version for home.
And so these fritters were born. I originally published these last summer as part of the beautiful WHOLE Cookbook (you can order a copy here), while fresh corn was in season. So now that those sweet wee cobs of gold are back on market shelves, I’m excited to be sharing these lovely morsels with you here on the blog too!
Churr for chickpea flour
These fritters use a base of chickpea flour (otherwise known as besan flour), which is my absolute favourite flour to use in fritters. It has the amazing ability of creating a binding batter, without the need for eggs and gluten, which are normally what is used in fritters and pancakes. It then has the added benefits of being high in protein, naturally gluten free, and low on the glycemic index keeping your blood sugars nice and stable. Before going plant-based, chickpea flour was something I had never used let alone heard of before, but now it’s one of my top favourites to have on hand - I highly recommend you getting a bag for your cupboard too!
To create our batter along with the chickpea flour, all we then need is water and some flavourings. I’ve used basil, chilli, onion, garlic and sea salt. You could easily mix this up though and use coriander (cilantro) or parsley instead of basil, and reduce the chillis if you’re making these for little ones (although Mila at 11 1/2 months seems to have a taste for a little bit of chilli already!).
I’ve then added red capsicum for a lovely colour contrast and to sneak a bit more low GI vege and antioxidants in these, and of course our aforementioned corn. While fresh cobs are brilliant and I highly recommend using them in summer if they’re available near you (so cheap, so delicious!), if you’re freezing in sub-zero temperatures right now (Canada, holla), then canned whole corn kernels (not the creamed variety) also work brilliantly.
I love serving these amazing Corn Fritters with my favourite Cashew Sour Cream recipe (which I've included below), but if you’re short on time then you can substitute avocado to provide that same creaminess. Stack ‘em up high, dollop with sour cream, and accompany with slow-roasted or fresh tomato, panfried mushrooms, wilted or fresh spinach, basil leaves, your favourite relish, or just a simple garden salad. That’s how we eat these most weeks, and as such they’ve become a regular dinner option as opposed to just brunch!
They’re also one of my favourite foods to take as finger food to a party, as you can make them into little bite-sized morsels like I’ve done in the images here. In fact, I’m foreseeing little Mila getting her sticky little fingers on these mini versions pronto!
I hope you’ll try these amazing Corn Fritters and that they’ll become a regular staple in your cooking repertoire. They are honestly one of my favourite recipes, I can’t rave about them enough! So whether you’re stacking or plattering, adding chilli for the adults or sans for the littlies, and using basil, coriander or whatever other herb is lurking in your garden, I hope you will love these little morsels.
I’d love to hear what you think, so leave me a comment below and share your corn fritter feasts on Instagram with the tags @begoodorganics and #begoodorganics. I can't wait to see what you come up with!
And if you’d like to get the full printed version along with 49 other fabulous whole food recipes from myself and some other wonderful healthy foodies around New Zealand, you can order our gorgeous hard cover WHOLE Cookbook here. It was such an honour to be a part of this amazing production and I’m so proud of how the book turned out!
Adieu and til next time..
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Makes 9 regular/15 nibble sized fritters
Takes 15 minutes
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Always use certified organic, local and fairly traded ingredients wherever possible
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tbsp coconut oil
2 1/2c (500g/17.6oz) corn kernels, fresh or frozen (2 corn cobs)
1c (100g/3.5oz) chickpea (besan) flour*
1/2 red capsicum, diced
1 green or red chilli, finely chopped**
1/2c (10g/0.4oz) basil, chopped
1 tsp sea salt
3/4c (190ml) water
To serve: cashew sour cream, relish, cherry tomatoes, basil leaves, wilted spinach, pan-fried mushrooms, slow-roasted tomatoes
* You can make your own chickpea flour by simply blending up chickpeas in a high powered food processor until they're the consistency of flour
** You can replace this with a pinch of chilli powder, if you don't have any fresh chillies to hand
c = 250ml cup, tbsp = 15ml tablespoon, tsp = 5ml teaspoon
Photos by Bronwyn Kan