Pan-fried eggplant fritters, also known as ‘gateau brinjel’ in Mauritius, result in a lighter fritter that still has big flavour with crunchy texture on the outside and moist mushy interior. Enjoy as a vegan snack or as part of a meal.
With the season teasing with occasional outbursts of rainy days and slightly lower temperatures, I feel my stomach is asking for just a little bit more.
If you are subscribed to our YouTube channel, you might have been watching our What We Eat in a Day series where we show you what we eat as a vegan couple. In last week’s episode, I made some eggplant fritters that I wanted to share the recipe for.
Similar to Indian pakoras or Japanese tempuras, these Chinese eggplant fritters are popular Mauritian snacks that are sold at street corners. They would usually be deep fried but I pan fried them with less oil, drastically reducing the oil content. The result is a lighter fritter that still has big flavour with crunchy texture on the outside and moist mushy interior.
The recipe is very simple. My preference for the batter is chickpea flour but all-purpose flour (or a mix of both flours) also works well. Chinese eggplant needs to be soaked in salt water first before cooking them to remove some of the bitterness. In a previous video, which is the Mauritian Dal with Eggplant, I’ve demonstrated how to do this.
Apart from these eggplant fritters, we had a day of delicious comfort food. We started the day with some rice pudding (or rice porridge). I left out the lemongrass in this one though and used only cardamoms for fragrance. We had this with our usual cup of tea.
A little bit later during the day, we had the eggplant fritters with some salad leaves and some slices of bread. Kevin had some Belgian bread or what was labelled as old-fashioned Belgian bread in the store. So, we thought we’d give it a try. It didn’t taste very old-fashioned, so I guess that is the commercial version of it. I was quite a good bread though. For my part, I had a slice of rye pumpernickel bread. I like this one both for its taste and texture.
During the afternoon, we sipped on another cup of tea. For dinner, I made a béchamel sauce to which I added some spinach, mushrooms, peas and sweetcorn. We had this over some brown rice spaghettini. I have a couple of recipes featuring the béchamel sauce on the blog like the White Sauce Rigatoni Pasta Bake or the Spaghetti Squash Gratin. Just like in the rigatoni pasta bake recipe, I sautéed the vegetables separately but I added them into the sauce afterward and served it over the pasta without baking it. This was pretty delicious and it makes an easy weeknight dinner.
So that was our food day. We love hearing from you. So, leave us a comment. And if you are not subscribed to our YouTube channel yet, you can do so here so you don’t miss any future videos.
Eggplant Fritters (gateau brinjel)
Watch our food day and a brief process of how I made the eggplant fritters in this video.
- 1 - 2 Chinese eggplants
- 1 tablespoon salt
- Water for soaking
- 100 g (3/4 cup) chickpea flour, or all-purpose flour or mixture of both flours
- 1/3 teaspoon turmeric powder, optional
- 1/3 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
- 1 teaspoon thyme leaves, optional
- 175 ml (2/3 cup + 1 tablespoon) water, or enough to make a batter of pouring consistency
- Oil for pan frying
- Wash the eggplants. Slice them into slanted discs of about 3/4 cm (1/4 inch) thick. Place in a bowl and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon salt. Massage the salt into the eggplant. Fill the bowl with water to just cover the eggplants. Set aside to soak for 10 – 12 minutes.
- Meanwhile, prepare the batter. Mix all the batter ingredients together. Whisk to remove all lumps. Adjust the water for a pouring consistency, not too thin but not as thick as a pancake batter.
- Drain the eggplants and rinse thoroughly to remove the excess salt. Pat dry them with a paper towel to remove excess water.
- Heat a skillet with about 2 tablespoons of oil on medium-high temperature.
- Once skillet is hot, dip each eggplant slice into the batter and transfer to the skillet. Let fry for about 3-4 minutes or until golden and crispy on one side. Then turn and fry for another 3-4 minutes on the other side until crispy. Work in batches for as many as you can fit in the pan. Leave some space in between for easy turning.
- Prick the fritter with a fork to test if the eggplant is done. If it goes in without any spongy resistance, the fritter is done.
- Remove from the skillet and drain on absorbent paper. Repeat for the rest of the batch.
- Enjoy with your favourite hot sauce.
Any leftover batter can be kept in the refrigerator and used within 2 days.
Link to original recipe - Eggplant Fritters - https://veganlovlie.com/eggplant-fritters/