Corn, Capsicum and Chilli Fritters
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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Please note – if you are wanting to meet any of the specific dietary requirements below, please read my recipe notes.
- 1 onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic crushed
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 2 1/2 c corn kernels fresh or frozen (2 corn cobs)
- 1 c chickpea (besan) flour
- 1/2 red capsicum diced
- 1 green or red chilli finely chopped
- 1/2 c basil chopped
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 3/4 c water
- Pan fry onion in 1 tbsp of coconut oil until translucent. In a bowl, mix the onion with all remaining fritter ingredients, sifting in the chickpea flour and adding the water at the end to ensure there are no lumps.
- For regular sized fritters, use quarter-cup scoops of the mixture, and for nibble-sized, heaped tablespoons. Pan-fry in the remaining 1 tbsp of coconut oil over medium heat for 3-4 minutes each side, until golden-brown.
- For nibble-sized fritters, top with dollops of cashew sour cream, relish, halved cherry tomatoes and extra basil leaves.
- To serve as a main, stack 3-4 regular-sized fritters before topping with the cashew sour cream, and then serve with wilted spinach, pan-fried mushrooms and slow-roasted tomatoes on the side.
- 1 c cashews soaked 2 hours, rinsed and drained
- 3/4 c water
- Rind juice and flesh of 1 lemon
- 4 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- Blend all ingredients in a blender or food processor until silky-smooth, scraping down the inside of the blender a few times to get a smooth consistency. There should be no lumps of cashews remaining and the mixture should be completely smooth like a regular sour cream.