Food 2018 – Recipes (Onion Fritters, Chinese Braised Red Cabbage)

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Monday, 16th April 2018 – Recipes (Onion Fritters, Chinese Braised Red Cabbage)

A glut of onions starting to shoot meant I tried the first recipe at the weekend. It worked a treat! It’s apparently from the wonderful Madhur Jaffrey’s book, Curry Easy Vegetarian. Additionally, with a red cabbage lying around reproachfully in the vegetable rack, I decided I really needed to try something different from the usual red cabbage recipe that I can pretty much make it my sleep. The result is sticky, lively in flavour and will go nicely with a rich meat like lamb, duck or beef or even game.

Onion Fritters

Preparation: 20 minutes
Cooking: 2 minutes
Makes: 12


  • 3 small onions (225g), peeled, cut into semi-circles
  • ⅛-¼ tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp finely grated fresh ginger
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
  • 1 fresh hot green chilli, cut into rounds (optional)
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • A generous pinch of ground turmeric
  • 4 tbsp chickpea flour (besan or gram flour)
  • A pinch of salt
  • Olive or peanut oil, for deep-frying


  1. Mix the onions, chilli powder, ginger, coriander, green chilli (if using), cumin and turmeric in a bowl. Dust with chickpea flour, but do not mix it in just yet.
  2. About 15 minutes before eating, add the salt. Hand-mix the onions into the dry ingredients, mashing it all for about 5 minutes, or until the slices clump together.
  3. Put 1cm of oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. While it’s warming up, make 12 rough patties from the onion mixture, placing them in a single layer on a board or plate as you make them. Onion pieces will stick out, but that is how it should be.
  4. When the oil is hot, turn the heat to medium-low and add half the patties in one layer. Fry for 1 minute, flip, and fry for another minute. Flip again. Fry for another 30 seconds or so on each side until reddish-gold and crisp.
  5. Drain on kitchen paper. Make a second batch the same way. Serve hot with some chutney.

I added twice as much seasoning (apart from the chilli) and it was all the better for it. I also fried them in a deep fat fryer at 190C.

Chinese Braised Red Cabbage

Preparation: 20 minutes
Cooking: 30 minutes
Serves: 4


  • 1 large red cabbage, finely shredded
  • 3 red chillies, halved, deseeded and chopped
  • large piece fresh root ginger, peeled and finely sliced
  • 4 star anise
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 75ml rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 4 spring onions, finely sliced
  • toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil


  1. Tip all the ingredients, except the spring onions, sesame seeds and oil, into a large pan with a lid, and bring to a simmer.
  2. Cook over a low heat for 25-30 mins until all the liquid has evaporated and continue to cook, stirring regularly, until the juices become really sticky and glaze the cabbage.
  3. Stir through half the spring onions and sesame seeds and pile into a bowl.
  4. Serve scattered with rest of the spring onions and sesame seeds and drizzled with the sesame oil.

As an alternative, try bacon braised red cabbage. To make this side dish meaty, fry 200g chopped smoked streaky bacon in a large pan. When crisp, add 1 shredded red cabbage, 4 tbsp redcurrant jelly and 50ml red wine vinegar. Simmer for 20 mins until the cabbage has wilted, but still has some crunch.

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