Almost every type of vegetable can be made into a fritter. A vegetable fritter is a combination of small pieces of vegetables and binding ingredients fried in hot oil. The fritters are made in small portions that can be eaten by hand. They can be round or flattened, made from a single vegetable or a combination of several, and can be varied by the addition of spices.
A typical vegetable fritter is made from a chopped vegetable, such as zucchini, mixed with flour and eggs. Spoonfuls of the mixture are placed in hot oil and fried until golden brown and crispy. Fritters with a high flour content, such as corn fritters, are typically made into round, bite-sized portions. Fritter batter that has more vegetables than flour is usually made into small pancake shapes. Round fritters are usually deep-fried in oil, while the flatter type of fritters are browned in a small amount of oil.
Many different vegetables adapt well to fritters. Depending on the vegetable, they can be diced, sliced, or minced before being mixed with the binding ingredients. Carrots, eggplants, and broccoli are common fritter ingredients. Some vegetables need to be cooked before being made into fritters, while others are used raw.
Vegans can adapt many basic vegetable fritter recipes to accommodate their tastes. In the basic recipe, eggs are used as a binding ingredient. Vegans can substitute a different binding ingredient for the eggs. Chickpea flour or wheat gluten will both act as binders and make a fritter batter that holds its shape when fried.
Pakoras, a type of vegetable fritter from India, also use chickpea flour. These fritters use larger pieces of vegetables than what are found in the more traditional fritters. The batter used to make pakoras is spicy and includes ingredients, such as cumin and curry powder.
Fritters are often served with a side accompaniment of a complementary sauce. Sour cream, salsa, and chutney work well with different fritters. Bland sauces, such as yogurt, offset the fire of spicy fritters. Mild-tasting fritters, such as squash fritters, get a little extra flavor from bold salsas.
A vegetable fritter is a creative way to use leftover vegetables. Small portions of vegetables that are not large enough to serve in a meal can be combined and made into fritters. Children who turn their noses up at the thought of vegetables will often eat vegetable fritters with gusto.