Plantain fritters with coconut & coriander dip

Plantain fritters with coconut & coriander dip

By
From
V is for Vegan
Serves
6–8

I used to hang out with squatters in Hackney, east London. They often used to ‘skip’ food, or go ‘dumpster diving’ as it’s called in the States. I was living in the London Fields lido swimming pool. Squatters get a bad rep, but actually they keep buildings alive. The London Fields lido was going to be turned into a car park by Hackney Council, but the squatters stayed there, heated it, repaired it and, when the council said they were going to turn it back into a swimming pool, left peaceably.

It was great fun living in the middle of a beautiful London park. There was a street full of squatters, all of whom had lived in these abandoned houses for longer than 12 years. This meant that they had the right to stay there. (The law has changed now.) I used to visit a local squatter family with my daughter. They were very alternative: home-schooled their kids, refused to have a car, made their own wine and alcohol, grew their own weed, cooked from scratch and ate very good food. They even roasted their own coffee from green beans obtained from Ethiopia. Rob, the husband, made this dish, which I loved. He’d cycle to the local Ridley Road market where Caribbean food was sold.

Make sure you buy ripe – that is, yellow – plantains, not green. Normal bananas won’t work, as their texture isn’t as sturdy.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
2 large, ripe yellow plantains, peeled
1 green chilli, finely sliced
3 tablespoons plain flour
50g coriander leaves
rice bran oil, for deep-frying
sea salt

For the dip:

Quantity Ingredient
1 fresh coconut
1 green chilli, finely sliced
2 lemons, juiced
thumb of ginger, peeled and very finely chopped
50g coriander leaves

Method

  1. Mash the plantains by hand or in a food processor. Add the chilli, flour, coriander and some salt.
  2. For the dip, open the coconut and remove the flesh. Using a powerful blender such as a Vitamix, process the coconut flesh and milk, chilli, lemon juice, ginger, coriander and some salt.
  3. Heat about 1–2 cm oil in a deep frying pan. You can use any vegetable oil but rice bran oil is very good with this recipe. Prepare a bowl with kitchen paper to absorb the oil. When a crumb dropped into the oil sizzles, the oil is hot enough. Use a tablespoon to scoop the plantain mixture into the oil. Continue until you have run out of room in the pan or until the mixture is used up. After a few minutes, turn over the fritters. When both sides are golden brown, remove to the kitchen paper to drain. Serve hot with the dip.
Tags:
Vegan
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