Burmese Yellow Split Pea Fritters

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I have had this recipe for Burmese yellow split pea fritters from  has*ba – please eat bookmarked for two years and I have just now gotten around to making it. Part of the delay was that I had once made a similar recipe, a West African recipe for black-eyed pea fritters, that was a disaster – they completely fell apart in the oil as I was frying them, gross. Then recently a friend posted this in a Facebook group we both belong to, and I decided it was time to tackle them.
This recipe is great. For one thing, the author gives a neat trick to keep them together. First, you divide the soaked peas in half. Then you grind the first half until they look like coarse corn meal or polenta. After you transfer them to a bowl, you grind the second half to a smooth paste, which helps hold the rest of the ingredients together. I’m also a bit phobic about deep frying things, but I used my big soup pot, fried these up in three batches, and they weren’t messy at all, nor were they greasy.
Cho suggests serving these with a “spicy sour dip” but I didn’t find a Burmese one with a quick internet search. So, I made an Indian tamarind chutney that hit the spot. The chutney is from a samosa recipeon Ambika’s Kitchen, another blog I’m looking forward to exploring more.
I didn’t change these much at all. I forgot to buy some red peppers, so I used ground cayenne, and I changed the weight of split peas to its volume. Also, I made my fritters bigger, so I had to cook them longer. However you make them, these are crispy little pillows of savory crunch. These are definitely a keeper.
I am sending this to Jacqueline’s Bookmarked Recipes at Tinned Tomatoes.
Burmese Yellow Split Pea Fritters
Adapted from has*ba – please eat.
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons yellow split peas, soaked overnight
1 cup finely diced onion, from about 1/2 an onion
1/3 cup cilantro, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 cups oil for deep frying (I used canola)
Drain the soaked peas and divide in half. Pulse half in the food processor until broken up but not completely smooth. Mine looked like coarse cornmeal with a few larger pieces. Transfer to a bowl.
Puree the remaining split peas until completely smooth. Add water 1 teaspoon at a time if necessary, but don’t add more than a tablespoon (3 teaspoons).
Add to the coarse split peas. Stir in the onion, cilantro, salt, paprika, cayenne, and turmeric.
Use two spoons or your hands to form these into fritters. Heat oil in a large soup pot or saucepan (something with tall sides) over medium heat. Your oil is hot enough when a pinch of flour dropped in the oil sizzles. Fry about 1/3 of the fritters at a time until golden. If you made 30-35 fritters, they’ll take about 2 to 4 minutes. If you made 21 fritters as I did, they’ll take 6-7 minutes. Use a slotted spoon or tongs to remove the fritters. Drain on paper towels.
Serve with tamarind chutney or a spicy sauce of your choice. Makes 3 to 6 servings, depending on what else is on the table.
Tamarind chutney
I only made 1/4 of the original recipe and it was just the right amount for the fritters. This keeps well, so see the originalfor the full amount.
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon tamarind paste
1 to 2 tablespoons water
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon black salt or regular salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
Stir together all of the ingredients in your smallest saucepan. Bring to a low boil, turn heat down and cook for a couple of minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and allow it to cool down. If it seems too thick, add more water. Refrigerate unused portion.

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6 Responses

  1. Found you through MLLA and boy these look fantastic!

  2. Thanks,Laura! They were great.

  3. These look just gorgeous. I love fritters – but I do tend to avoid deep-frying food if I can find another way. Boiling oil just scares me!

    • I hear you on the fear of boiling oil. Mostly I’m afraid of cleaning up the kitchen afterwards! These were pretty easy to fry and neat, though.

  4. They look really fantastic. Well done!

  5. Thank you, Christian!

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