These tasty leek fritters with garlic sauce make a delicious appetiser or even a light meal. They're fairly easy to make and taste a little bit like onion bhajis.
I first made these leek fritters quite a few years ago and they are slightly adapted from a recipe in Plenty by Ottolenghi. It was a long time ago, just after I'd first heard of him on Masterchef and his name kept cropping up everywhere. People were raving about his books and his dishes. Whenever I read one of his recipes online I wanted to try it.
Without consciously trying to, I have a few meat-free days most weeks. What I like about Ottolenghi is that he loves making vegetables interesting and you don't feel that anything is missing.
I told my husband that I wanted Plenty for Christmas. I don't think he was quite as enthusiastic as I was, especially as he called me from the book shop saying, was I really sure I wanted Plenty? What about a rather nice book on Spanish food by I can't remember who now? Or what about Ottolenghi's other book that had some meat dishes in as well?
Hmmm! I didn't think this was how Christmas presents were supposed to work. Anyway, I think he realised this too, as I did get it as part of my Christmas present.
So, when Dom's Random Recipe Challenge for January was to cook from a new book, this was the book I picked up. And of course, my lovely husband was even less delighted when the recipe I picked had leeks as the main ingredient.
Despite the leeks, my lovely husband liked these. However, he did compare them to onion bhajis and asked if I could make them just with onion next time.
Ingredients for leek fritters and garlic sauce
These are the ingredients you'll need for the garlic sauce:
- Greek yogurt - I normally use the full fat Greek yogurt but you can replace it with low fat Greek or natural yogurt
- Sour cream
- Garlic clove - You can replace this with lazy garlic. This sauce is very garlicy so just a small clove is fine, especially if you plan to spend time with people who have not just eaten this!
- Lemon juice - Freshly squeezed lemon juice is best but use a bottle if you need to.
- Olive oil - Use a good quality extra virgin olive oil.
- Coriander leaves (cilantro) - Use parsley if you're not a fan of coriander. Or you can use a mixture of parsley and coriander.
To make the fritters you'll need:
- Chilli pepper - This can be omitted if you don't want them to be too spicy!
- Coriander leaves - Or fresh parsley.
- Ground spices - Coriander, cumin, turmeric, cinnamon
- Self-raising flour - Or plain flour plus an extra half teaspoon of baking powder.
- Baking powder
- Sugar - Just a tiny bit. Feel free to miss it out.
- Milk - I usually use semi-skimmed but skimmed or whole milk are fine too.
- Butter - I usually use unsalted but salted is fine too.
How do you make these leek fritters?
Looking at the list of ingredients you may think these will be complicated to make but that's not true at all.
Make the sauce first by blitzing all the sauce ingredients in a food processor or blender.
Slice the leeks thinly and fry them gently in a pan with the onion and chilli pepper. Then stir in the herbs and spices.
Separate the egg and whisk the egg white to form soft peaks. Fold the egg white into the leek mixture. These helps to keep the texture of the fritters light and airy.
Put all the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, egg yolk, milk and melted butter into a bowl and whisk together to form a batter.
Then mix the leeks into the batter.
Heat a saucepan with about 1cm of cooking oil. Put spoonfuls of the leek batter into the oil and cook for about 2 minutes on each side on a medium-high heat.
You'll probably need to cook this amount of mixture in 2 batches. Drain the fritters on some kitchen roll when you take them out of the oil.
What can you serve with them?
Well, the garlic sauce is delicious with them along with lots of salad and bread. Any bread works well. Crusty bread, wraps or pitta breads are all great with these fritters.
I also like to serve some lemon wedges alongside them as they are great with some freshly squeezed lemon juice as well as the homemade garlic sauce.
Of course, if you don't have time or don't have the ingredients then don't feel you have to make the garlic sauce at all.
Can you adapt these leek fritters?
Yes of course. I know these are called leek fritters but you could just make them with lots of onions instead of the leeks and call them onion fritters.
You could add some extra spices too. They are gently spiced with cumin, coriander, turmeric and cinnamon. But, you could add some chilli powder to make them a little hotter.
They have a chilli pepper in but it doesn't add a lot of heat. If you want to add a bit more then you could put in an extra chilli pepper or two.
Storing and reheating the leftovers
Any leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to three days. You can reheat them in the microwave or the oven. The oven is best as it helps them to crisp up a little after being stored in the fridge. They will just need 5 minutes at 180C.
Can you freeze them?
Yes. I usually freeze them on a baking tray covered in baking paper. Once they have frozen you can transfer them to a freezer bag. They will keep for at least 3 months.
You can bake them in the oven from frozen. They will take about 10 minutes at 180C
More fritter type recipes
If you like these leek fritters then why not try one of these recipes:
And if you like leek recipes then do try these savoury leek pancakes!
Ingredients for the Sauce
- 50 ml Greek yogurt
- 50 ml sour cream
- 1 garlic clove crushed
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1½ tablespoon olive oil
- Pinch salt
- 2 tablespoon coriander leaves chopped
Ingredients for the Leek Fritters
- 2 leeks finely sliced
- 1 onion finely diced
- 1 chilli pepper finely sliced
- 2 tablespoon coriander leaves chopped
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 egg
- 70 g self-raising flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 80 ml milk
- 30 g butter unsalted, melted
How to Make the Garlic Sauce
- Mix all the ingredients in a food processor. Put in the fridge until needed.
How to Make the Fritters
- Cook the leeks, onion and chilli pepper in a little olive oil for about 15 minutes until soft.
- Take off the heat and put in a bowl. Add the herbs and spices.
- Separate the egg white from the egg yolk. I do this by just picking up the yolk between my fingers.
- Whisk the egg white till it starts to form peaks and then gently mix it into the leeks.
- In another bowl make a batter with the egg yolk, flour, baking powder, milk, salt, sugar and melted butter.
- Then gently mix this into the leek mixture.
- Heat some oil in a frying pan and when hot, add spoonfuls of the leek mixture. Cook for about 2 minutes on each side. You'll need to make this number of fritters in two batches.
- Serve with the sauce on the side.