Aubergine fritters: Beignets d’aubergine


  • 2 medium aubergines weighing about 125g/4oz each
  • 80g/3oz vegetarian cheddar cheese, grated
  • 4 tbsp paneer or cottage cheese (or similar vegetarian cheese)
  •  ½ green pepper, seeded and grated
  •  ½ red pepper, seeded and grated
  •  ½ tsp cumin powder
  •  ½ tsp paprika powder
  •  Salt
  •  120g/4oz gram flour
  •  1 pinch bicarbonate of soda
  •  ½ tsp ajwain seeds
  •  Vegetable oil, to deep-fry
  •  Tamarind sauce

Slice the aubergines 1 cm/¼ in thick, then slit each slice horizontally, leaving an edge uncut to hold the two halves together.

Mix together the grated cheese and paneer or cottage cheese. Squeeze any moisture out of the grated peppers and add them to the cheeses with the powdered spices.

Add salt to taste, mix well and spread the cheese mixture into the pockets you have made in the aubergine slices.Mix the gram flour with a pinch of bicarbonate of soda, the ajwain seeds and a pinch of salt and slowly mix in enough water to make a thick, smooth batter.

Heat the deep-frying oil to 170°C/325°F/Gas Mark 3. Dip the stuffed aubergine pockets into the batter and deep-fry until golden brown, about 3 to 4 minutes.

Serve hot with tamarind sauce.