1 kg fresh broad beans , in their pods (about 300g podded weight) or 500g defrosted broad beans, skinned
6 sprigs fresh coriander
1 small bunch fresh mint
freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 level teaspoon ground cumin
½ fresh red chilli , deseeded and finely sliced
1 lemon , zest and juice of
1 heaped teaspoon plain flour
1 litre vegetable oil
1 small piece potato , peeled, optional
4 tablespoons natural yoghurt
a few handfuls mixed crunchy salad leaves , washed and spun dry
extra virgin olive oil
pickled chillies , to serve
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These fritters make a delicious snack. They not only taste awesome but they look amazing – dark and crunchy on the outside, bright green and soft inside! They’re simple to make, and the spiciness just makes them work. This dish is best made with early season, fresh-as-a-daisy, pastel-green broad beans. Or you can use frozen broad beans – simply defrost them and pinch off their skins.
Boil any larger white-skinned broad beans for 30 seconds, then drain. When cool, pinch their skins off – they’ll taste less bitter if you do this. Now whiz the coriander and half the mint in a food processor. Season with salt and pepper, then add the spices, chilli, broad beans and lemon zest and whiz until finely chopped (stopping once or twice to scrape the mixture off the sides). Sprinkle in the flour and pulse for a few seconds. Don’t add any more flour or the mixture will become too dry.
Get a large saucepan and pour in the vegetable oil till it’s 5 to 7cm deep. Be careful – keep kids and pets away, and make sure the handle isn’t sticking out so you don’t accidentally catch it and spill the hot oil. Heat the oil. To check whether it’s hot enough for frying, drop in the piece of potato – as soon as it sizzles and floats to the top, you’re in business. Remove the potato and discard it.
Cover a plate with a sheet of greaseproof paper. Scoop up a small amount of the broad bean mixture and either use your hands or two spoons to shape it into little rounds, then put them on to the plate. When they’re all done, carefully lower one of them into the hot oil with a slotted spoon and drain on a plate lined with kitchen paper. When you’re got the hang of it, fry the rest of them – they should all fit into the pan at the same time but, if not, simply do batches.
For your lemon minted yoghurt, squeeze half the lemon juice into the yoghurt. Pick and chop the rest of your mint leaves and stir them in, adding salt and pepper to taste. Dress your salad leaves with a squeeze of lemon juice and some olive oil. Sprinkle the fritters with salt and serve with the lemon minted yoghurt, the dressed salad leaves and some pickled chillies.