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Iranian Herb Fritters

These can be snacked on as they are, at room temperature, or served with a green tahini sauce and some extra herbs. If you want to make the tahini sauce, just blitz 3 tbsp/50g tahini, 1½ cups/30g parsley, ½ crushed garlic clove, 2 tbsp lemon juice, and 1/8 tsp salt for 30 seconds and pour in ½ cup/120ml water. Adding the water last allows the parsley to get really broken up and turns the sauce as green as can be. This sauce is lovely spooned over all sorts of things—grilled meat and fish and roasted vegetables, for example—so double or triple the batch and keep it in the fridge. It keeps well for about 5 days. You might want to thin it with a little water or lemon juice to get it back to the right consistency.

These fritters are a bit of a fridge-raid, using up whatever herbs you have around. As long as you keep the total net weight the same and use a mixture of herbs, this will still work wonderfully. The batter will keep, uncooked, for 1 day in the fridge.

Alternatively, pile the fritters into pita bread with condiments, such as a combination of yogurt, chile sauce, pickled vegetables, and tahini. You’d just need one fritter per person, rather than two.

Makes eight fritters, to serve four to eight (depending on whether everyone is having one in a pita or two as they are)

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 2 cups dill, finely chopped
  • 2 cups basil leaves, finely chopped
  • 2 cups cilantro leaves, finely chopped
  • 1½ teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs (from about 2 slices, crusts left on if soft)
  • 3 tablespoons barberries (or currants)
  • 1/3 cup walnut halves, lightly toasted and roughly chopped
  • 8 large eggs, beaten
  • Salt
  • ¼ cup sunflower oil, for frying

WHAT YOU DO:

  1. Place all the ingredients, apart from the oil, in a large bowl with ½ tsp of salt. Mix well to combine and set aside.
  2. Put 2 tbsp of the oil into a large nonstick pan and place over medium-high heat. Once hot, add ladles of batter to the pan. Do 4 fritters at a time, if you can—you want each of them to be about 5 inches/12cm wide—otherwise just do 2 or 3 at a time. Fry for 1–2 minutes on each side, until crisp and golden brown. Transfer to a paper towel–lined plate and set aside while you continue with the remaining batter and oil.
  3. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Recipe excerpted from ‘Ottolenghi Simple cookbook’