Chickpea flour is great for adding a really nutty flavor and a light, crispy texture, while still being able to bind things like tender spring onions together. Inspired by Indian pakoras, these spiced fritters are great snacks, refreshing on a warm evening with a side of herbed sour cream. I prefer tapioca starch for just a minor practical reason: if you use a little more by accident, it’s less likely to give you the cakey texture that cornstarch can. But if you’ve only got cornstarch, try swapping it in for the tapioca flour.
- Add all dry ingredients to a bowl and mix well. Prepare the spring onions by discarding any papery skin along the base and stalk. If there are any limp green tops, trim and discard those as well. Starting from the root end, cut the stalk into 1½-inch batons, and once you’ve reached the green tops, cut those into 1½-inch pieces, too. Now cut the logs into small, kindling-like pieces about ½-inch wide by 1½-inch long. If the green top pieces need to be cut to match small kindling-like pieces, do so.
- Add the spring onion and the chopped garlic to the bowl with dry ingredients and mix well. Use your hand to mix water into the bowl, carefully working 1 tablespoon at a time, until the flour mixture has first thickened and then loosened up to coat the spring onions but also to pool just slightly at the bottom of the bowl—about 6 tablespoons water. Rinse your hands.
- Heat the oil in the large skillet over medium-high heat until a small amount of batter sizzles and bubbles up the sides. Measure out ¼ cup of the batter and add to the hot oil, making sure not to mound the mixture too much by using the back of the measuring cup to flatten it into an irregular shape—the onion pieces should be coated in batter and all touching one another so that they fry into a haphazard-looking patty. Do this three more times to use up half the batter. Check the first fritter, and if it’s golden brown, carefully flip it with a metal fish spatula and fry until it’s golden brown, about 2–3 minutes per side. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate. Repeat this process with the remaining batter.
- Season the fritters with ample salt. In a small bowl with a fork, mix the sour cream, chopped parsley, and 1 tablespoon water until well combined. Season with salt and serve with the warm fritters.
Christian is a California based chef, writer, and freelance recipe developer. He spent the last five years cooking as sous chef at Zuni Café. He has a bi-monthly cooking column in the San Francisco Chronicle and has words in Edible Magazine, Food52, and Epicurious. When he's not at home he's traveling to Mexico, exploring its cuisine and his heritage.