Crunchy cauliflower and cheese fritters (V)



1 large cauliflower (Ettrick Gardens)
1 large onion (Ettrick Gardens)
1 ½ cups of plain flour
½ cup fine polenta
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
A half dozen twists of black pepper
1T cumin seeds
1T nigella seeds (optional)
1 cup of your favourite cheese, grated or crumbled (Evansdale Cheese)
2-3 large free range eggs (Agreeable Nature)
a handful of fresh coriander, leaves plucked, and stems cut fine (Janefield Paeonies and Hydroponics)
a bottle of Port Larder’s Ceylon Sauce (Port Larder)


Place a large pot of salted water on to boil, once boiling season liberally with salt.
Place a deep skillet with oil on a moderate heat and checking regularly bring to 180C (if you don’t have a cooking thermometer this is around the point at which a cube of white bread bubbles on entry and goes golden in 30secs.
Wash cauliflower and break down into small florets.
With the water boiling add the cauliflower, rapidly return pot to the boil and blanch for no more that 4min. You’re looking to lose the raw taste and crunch without compromising the finished texture.
Peel and cut onion into a fine dice.
Combine flour, polenta, baking powder, salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl.
In a cup whisk your eggs with a fork.
Sauté your onion, garlic, and cumin seeds (and nigella seeds if using) until onion is glossy and translucent, stir in coriander stems and set aside.
Drain cauliflower well. With a large knife run over half the florets so they are the size of currents, leaving the other half the size of small marbles.
Once cool add the cauliflower to the dry ingredients and toss (this helps stop any coarse ingredients from sinking in a batter).
Add the eggs and onion mix, and, using a large spoon and a light hand, mix batter until just combined.
Don’t be tempted to mix in every last bit of flour or you’ll end up with tough fritters.
Using a pair of oiled dessert spoons carefully drop rounded dollops of batter into the pot.
If you work clockwise you can take them out in the same order resulting in uniformly cooked fritters. Don’t mind slightly shaggy fritters - provided your oil isn’t too hot this will make for wonderful texture.
Using a small sieve or long handled slotted spoon remove any shrapnel from the pot between batches. This keeps your oil clean and avoids acrid notes developing.
If necessary keep the fritters warm in a low oven, with the door ajar (so they don’t sweat) but they really are so much better dished up immediately, batch by batch.
Tickle with a grind of salt and pepper, and a handful of chopped coriander leaves.
Serve with Port Larder’s Ceylon Sauce

Safety. When deep frying always keep the matching pot lid, or a large flat oven tray at hand. Placing this, angled up and away from you, over the pot, is by far the easiest and safest way to deal with your oil should it ignite. Never ever use water or attempt to move the pot from the stovetop. Ideally use a cooking thermometer and maintain your oil at 180c by controlling your heat source.


Thanks to Ettrick Gardens for providing the cauliflower, to Port Larder for the Ceylon sauce, to Evansdale Cheese  for the Karitane Mellow Blue cheese, and to Janefield Paeonies and Hydroponics for the herbs used in the demonstration at the market
Please click here if you would like to download a printable copy


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