Spicy Corn Fritters with Raita

Corn, or maize, is a traditional ingredient of comfort foods in my native American South. Although less complete nutritionally than several other grains, corn makes up for this with its versatility. Dried and milled, it’s used for our beloved cornbread, spoon bread, and hoecakes. Processed through the 3,000-year-old technique of nixtamalization, it gives us hominy and grits. In its fresh form, it finds its way into many of our favorite soups, main courses, side dishes, and salads. And, of course, what movie would be complete without popcorn?

Fresh corn is harvested nine months of the year where I live in Florida and is often on the menu at our house. Yesterday I had a serious yen for corn fritters and developed this spiced up, savory recipe for them with an Indian flavor twist. These fritters include fresh corn kernels seasoned with green chilies, fresh ginger, green onions, sweet peppers, and cilantro. Served with raita — a lovely, light sauce of seasoned yogurt with grated cucumber and mint — these make a tasty vegetarian appetizer, snack, or side dish.

Ingredients

For the raita:

1/2 “English” cucumber
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup plain yogurt
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For the fritters:

3 ears fresh sweet corn
1 green onion and half its greens, minced
3 tablespoons chopped bell pepper
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro (coriander greens, dhania, etc.)
1 teaspoon peeled and grated fresh ginger
1 small garlic clove, peeled and finely minced (about 1/4 teaspoon)
1 small jalapeño pepper, stem and seeds removed, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
1/8 – 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon sugar
1 egg yolk
2/3 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg white
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Preparation

  1. Prepare the raita: Peel and coarsely grate the cucumber, mix with 1/2 teaspoon salt, wrap in a clean tea towel, and firmly wring out to express as much juice as possible. In a small serving bowl, mix the cucumber with all other raita ingredients, cover, and set aside for at least 20 minutes to allow the flavors to blend. Makes about one cup of raita.
  2. Cut the kernels from the cobs into a large mixing bowl. Then, holding the cobs over the bowl, scrape them with the edge of a knife blade along their lengths to express remaining corn pulp and juices.
  3. To the corn in the mixing bowl, stir in the green onions, bell pepper, cilantro, ginger, garlic, jalapeño pepper, crushed red pepper, sugar, and egg yolk.
  4. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Stir into the corn mixture in the mixing bowl.
  5. In a separate bowl, whip the egg white until stiff peaks form. Gently fold into the corn mixture in the mixing bowl. The batter should be stiff but hold the ingredients together. Add a teaspoon or two of water to the mix if it seems too dry, which might be the case if your corn is a bit past its prime.
  6. Preheat the oil in a large non-stick (or well seasoned cast iron) skillet over a burner set to medium heat. When the oil is very hot, drop heaping tablespoons of the batter into the skillet, taking care not to crowd the fritters. Cook until browned on one side, flip over, and brown the other. Drain the fritters well on paper towels and serve warm. Serves four as a snack, appetizer, or side dish.

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Leave a Comment

{ 38 Comments...read them below or add one }

zerrin May 13, 2011 at 3:15 pm

Never thought of making fritters from corns. Great idea! These are perfect for parties too!

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Heather Davis May 11, 2011 at 9:11 am

These do look good Barbara! Love that there is something called English cucumber!

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Chefanie Frasco April 25, 2011 at 6:01 pm

How gorgeous are your photos! That looks delicious on paper..I can only imagine how it tastes.

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Audrey Ellen @ My Scene and Herd April 23, 2011 at 11:50 pm

I am head over heels in love with yogurt sauces and yours looks so unique and spicy.
Great post!

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Kelly April 22, 2011 at 11:11 am

These look phenominal and I’m so glad I found your site! Consider me a new frequent visitor!

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Kiran @ KiranTarun.com April 20, 2011 at 2:38 am

This recipe is so much reminisce to what my mom used to make while we were growing up. Love fritters, and I admire how you’ve created this recipe with an Indian twist.

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Megan April 20, 2011 at 12:18 am

I love corn and I love raita so I know this would be amazing. Wish we would get corn 9 months out of the year.

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Karen April 19, 2011 at 11:25 am

Great recipe, Barbara! The raita is the perfect condiment for these fritters. I don’t think I could live without being able to eat corn, it’s so versatile and comes in so many different forms. Sweet corn on the cob with a dash of salt and some butter is my favorite.

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Devaki @ weavethousandflavors April 16, 2011 at 12:19 pm

This is lovely Barbara – What a clever twist to use Raita instead of the tsaziki as most would do. I will be making these fritters, this summer for sure when all the world is full of corn.

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Kankana April 14, 2011 at 3:45 pm

I like fritters a lot .. specially with ginger tea! These look amazing.. very yuumy. Your clicks are so perfect.. it balances so well with the white background… you need to give us some tips on that.

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megan @ whatmegansmaking April 14, 2011 at 9:02 am

such beautiful pictures on your blog! I love all of them. These corn fritters look so good. And I love raita – I serve it with a lot of spicy foods. I’ve never put mint in mine though – great idea!

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Jamie April 14, 2011 at 8:33 am

Stunning photos! Wow! And this is a recipe for me! Gorgeous, flavorful, crispy fritters and love them with the raita! I must try this! Beautiful blog!

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SMITH BITES April 14, 2011 at 6:39 am

WOW – those look good Barbara! for us? as a meal – because this is the way we tend to eat. the colors, the flavors all meld – and adding the raita as a dipping sauce is brilliant!!

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claudia lamascolo April 14, 2011 at 5:59 am

Just gorgeous!

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Gera@SweetsFoodsBlog April 13, 2011 at 5:40 pm

Hi Barbara,

Again in the blogging field!

Incredible this corn fritters totally a delicious veggie-snack, you don’t need meat at all here. Cheers, Gera

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Barbara April 13, 2011 at 7:37 pm

Thank you, Gera. And along with many of your friends I’m so happy to see you back!

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Winnie April 13, 2011 at 8:03 am

Wow these look absolutely delicious. Bookmarking this one for the summer when I can get local, fresh corn.

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baobabs April 13, 2011 at 4:06 am

yum, looks like a great snack!! and healthier version to potato croquettes! thanks for sharing!

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Cookin' Canuck April 12, 2011 at 10:53 pm

Fresh corn nine months of the year? I would be in heaven! These look as though they have the perfect amount of crunch on the outside. Pairing them with the raita sauce is perfect.

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Shelby April 12, 2011 at 7:26 pm

I love corn fritters – these look so much healthier than what I had growing up too! Love the colors!

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Maria April 12, 2011 at 5:47 pm

I love how colorful these fritters are!

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Pam Ketchum April 12, 2011 at 1:47 pm

Great to have an inviting vegetarian recipe – thanks! Beautiful presentation as usual!!

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Maris (In Good Taste) April 12, 2011 at 1:01 pm

These friitters looks great and I love the spicy kick

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Delishhh April 12, 2011 at 12:25 pm

Oh I love raita just love it and a firm believer it goes with almost anything so I am sure it delicious with your awesome looking fritters.

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bellini April 12, 2011 at 10:38 am

I love corn fritters and the spice factor in your version amps it up a notch.

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Jane Bonacci - The Heritage Cook April 12, 2011 at 10:25 am

These look absolutely amazing – I can’t wait to try them!!

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sonia April 12, 2011 at 9:55 am

amazing and so healthy fritters, perfect for the toddlers.

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laura April 12, 2011 at 9:30 am

looks so good! going to try making it with something other than egg though. we shall see how this goes – lol! saving the recipe to my online cookbook to experiment (http://cookmarked.com).

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Lea April 12, 2011 at 9:00 am

That looks so yummy, love the colors! Corn is strangewise something I eat about 3 times a year

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RJ Flamingo April 12, 2011 at 7:02 am

I would never have paired corn fritters with raita – until now! Have you ever hear me say that I’m “tasting it in my brain”? Even though it’s ridiculously early in the morning as I read this, I am tasting this in my brain, right now, and I’ve bookmarked it so I can taste it for real, later!

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Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen April 12, 2011 at 6:08 am

I love corn in all it’s forms, it really is wonderfully versatile like you said. The raita topping sounds like a great way to take the heat off these spicy corn fritters.

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marla April 11, 2011 at 10:16 pm

These fritters look amazing, especially paired with the raita. I was not a huge fan of corn until recently. Corn flour goes in virtually all my baking. Love it mixed with oat flour. My kids would love these fritters. Oh and so would I. xo

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Lindsey @ Gingerbread Bagels April 11, 2011 at 8:32 pm

Wow these corn fritters look sooooo good! I’ll have to try them out.

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Aggie April 11, 2011 at 6:48 pm

This looks absolutely fantastic. I would love to serve a plate of these to friends at our next cookout. Your pictures are always so appetizing!

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Feast on the Cheap April 11, 2011 at 5:27 pm

I love, love, love corn fritters. I slather mine with a sweet pepper pineapple relish….but it looks like the sweet peppers are fried right in here!

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Barbara April 11, 2011 at 7:32 pm

That relish sounds wonderful and would work well with the other flavors in these fritters. Perhaps omit the bell peppers in this fritter recipe but keep the other ingredients?

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Shaina April 11, 2011 at 5:09 pm

Absolutely gorgeous! I’d love to serve these as a side dish.

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Suzanne April 11, 2011 at 3:22 pm

I think these would be delicious as an appetizer, a meal, or with some of our elk steak! Absolutely calling my name. Love it!

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