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Gluten-Free Indian Fritters with Tamarind Raita

Don’t have a candy thermometer to test the oil’s temperature when frying these fritters? See if it’s ready by dipping in a wooden spoon handle or a wooden chopstick; if the oil surrounding it produces a steady, but not vigorous, stream of bubbles, it’s hot enough.

Servings 8
Author Troy MacLarty


  • 1 large Yukon gold potato
  • 3 cups chana dal, soaked 8 hours or overnight, rinsed, and drained
  • 1/2 cup peeled and chopped ginger
  • 2 serrano chiles, seeded and coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup thawed frozen petite green peas
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons garam masala spice
  • 1/2 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • Kosher salt
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • 1 recipe Tamarind Raita (below)


  1. Put the potato in a small saucepan. Fill the pan with water to cover, bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes or until fork tender. Remove and let cool enough to handle. Peel and cut unto 1/4-inch dice.

  2. In a food processor, process the lentils, ginger, and chiles to a fine paste. Transfer one-third of the mixture to a blender and blend, adding a little water, a tablespoonful at a time, to make a very smooth paste. In a bowl, mix both lentil pastes with the potato, peas, garam masala, cayenne, cilantro, and 3/4 teaspoon salt. Beat with a spoon until light and fluffy.

  3. In a large pot, heat 2 inches of oil to 350°F. Carefully drop in tablespoonfuls of the batter and fry until browned and crispy, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel–lined plate, sprinkle with salt, and serve