- gram flour - 60g
- Rice flour - 30g
- ghee or butter, melted - 1 tbsp
- Juice of 1/4 lemon
- turmeric - 1/2 tsp
- cumin seeds, coarsely chopped - 1 tsp
- fennel seeds - 1/4 tsp
- hot green chillies (to taste), finely minced - 1-2
- root ginger, finely grated - 2 tsp
- cloves of garlic, finely chopped - 2
- Small bunch of coriander, chopped
- fresh curry leaves, chopped (optional) - 2
- onions, halved, core removed and thinly sliced - 2
- Vegetable oil, to cook
Sift the flours into a mixing bowl, then stir in the ghee and lemon juice and just enough cold water to bring it to the consistency of double cream. Stir in the spices, aromatics and herbs and add salt to taste. Stir in the onions so they are well coated.
Heat the oil in a deep-fat fryer to 180C, or fill a large pan a third full with oil and heat – a drop of batter should sizzle as it hits the oil, then float. Meanwhile, put a bowl of cold water next to the hob, and a plate lined with kitchen paper. Put the oven on a low heat.
Once the oil is up to temperature, wet your hands and shape tablespoon-sized amounts of the mixture into balls. Drop into the oil, being careful not to overcrowd the pan, then stir carefully to stop them sticking. Cook for about four minutes, turning occasionally, until crisp and golden, then drain on the paper and put in the oven to keep warm while you cook the next batch. Serve with chutney or pickle.