Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Cauliflower Tempura | How to make Cauliflower Tempura

We are starting yet another BM Edition today, with first week for BM# 53 being 'Bring on Fritters'. When I picked up this theme, I actually was thinking about Batters, Breading and Coatings. I love that topic and always look out for doing dishes under this one. I enjoy knowing how each of these techniques vary from one another and how it varies among the different world cuisines.

Somehow I was looking at the fried fritters and ended up asking everybody to bring on Fritters. Still this alone calls for so many techniques. Fritters refer to any food that's coated with a batter and deep fried. So we have so many options, right from vegetable to meat. When we talk about fried food with batters, we have so many options in Indian Cuisine. We use so many different flours to make the batter that's used for frying.

However when it comes to the other cuisine, I noticed that they mostly use All purpose flour with a range of leavening agents to make the batter light. Whereas we do not follow that, and stick to flours and plain water. Of course exceptions are those fond of alcohol and have experienced other cuisines and have wanted to try it with our methods.
The different liquids that are added to the flour, gives different texture to the fried food.

The basic batter is prepared by mixing in flour with water. However we can use Ice Cold water, Soda, Alcohol etc.

Adding these extra ingredients makes your fries more crunchy. The theory behind why the batter tends to become solid or soggy, is the Gluten or the protein. When we use ice cold batter and fry right away, we do not let the gluten develop. When we use soda, it fills up the batter with Carbon di oxide and the batter becomes light as in a cake.

So apart from the basic water and flour batter, we can mix in Baking powder. This batter again should not let to sit as it looses its leavening power.

Next comes the Beer Batter, where beer is added, however for non alcoholic version we can use club soda. So examples for this would be Tempura, the Japanese Fried Food.

In American and European Cuisines, you will the fritters are also prepared by adding egg to it. This gives the batter its leavening power as well the emulsification properties.

Then the Middle east Cuisines have the yeast batter, where yeast is used and the prepared batter is let to sit for an hour before preparation for the batter to double.

All of the above are not just specific to one cuisine. The techniques are found around the globe.


When we talk about the actual frying, deep fried food should not be greasy. The greasiness depends on the Oil temperature and the amount of food fried. Its said that the oil should not be smoking hot, at the same time so mild. If you have a thermometer, check it to be between 365 to 370°F

However if you do not have a thermometer, you can let the oil heat up, drop a small piece of batter into the hot oil, if it sizzles up right away, it means the oil is hot enough. Also there has to be lot of regulation happening. We need to constantly simmer and increase to maintain the temperature.

Another factor that contributes to the greasiness is the amount of food fried. Always fry in batches. After removing, let the oil reach the right temperature before frying the next batch.

I know what was supposed to be sinful treat ended up being a lecture in guise. I wanted to record these for myself more than anything!

First in the series is a Tempura, the Japanese way of making a Fritter. They use a variety of food ingredients. The batter would be constant with different stuffing.

I made it first with Baby Corn and the Baby corn Tempura are so yum!. In today's recipe I replaced the egg with corn starch and Ice cold water.

These delicious tempura goes for my Kids Delight event, hosted by Sandhya themed on Snacking all the way. 



Cauliflower Tempura

Ingredients Needed:

Ice water
Corn Starch - 2 tbsp
All purpose flour - 1 cup
Baking Soda a pinch
Cauliflower florets -1 cup
Salt to taste
Ground Pepper powder - 1 tsp
Oil for deep frying

How to make the Tempura

Wash and blanch the cauliflower florets in hot water for 5 mins. Drain well.

Heat the oil, meanwhile mix the batter in a bowl making sure there are no lumps.

Dip the drained cauliflower into the batter and when the oil is hot, immediately drop in.

Using a slotted spoon, flip the fritters on both sides to get cooked well. Cook on medium flame for the tempura to get cooked fully.

Drain on a kitchen towel and continue with the rest of the batch.

Serve with tomato sauce.


Notes:

If you are not making the entire batch right away, its best if you mix the batter just before frying.

You can season with salt and pepper after frying as well.

Instead of blanching you can saute in oil and season the cauliflower as well.
  
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20 comments :

Usha said...

Tempura with cauliflower looks good. Shrimp tempura is my favorite and mixed vegetables tempura. Never tried cauliflower.. Sure tasted good.

Suma Gandlur said...

It must have tasted good. I made tempura for the A-Z marathon though I didn't get to post and we loved it.

Rajani S said...

I have started frying a little bit now, still not so comfortable with it. This gyan is definitely useful for me :-). Tempura looks good, btw!

vaishali sabnani said...

Valli I tried beans tempura in Japan and it tasted awesome. Though these are bland the condiments served along do the trick. The ice water of course makes them nice and crunchy. Cauliflower is a very good option for vegetarians.

Archana Potdar said...

I love these tempura. Reminds of of what I wanted to make but have not... Frying is an issue with me. Anyway this goes as a must try in my book.

praba bubesh said...

Tempura with cauliflower looks soo yum...Ice water with corn starch is great idea...

Sarita said...

I love these tempura very much ..kids love it..Nice yummy snack.

Priya Suresh said...

I also planned tempura, cauliflower sounds interesting..

Varadas Kitchen said...

Not a fan of deep fried foods but I like the way you have written up the post. It has so much information.

Sandhya Ramakrishnan said...

Cauliflower tempura is one of the best :) This is my personal favorite and I am so tempted to eat them!

Chef Mireille said...

love tempura as it is so light and airy - yours looks perfect

Padma Rekha said...

This is in my list for next week you made them so perfectly,Let's see how Iam going to make them...

Harini-Jaya R said...

Very interesting, Valli. Using ice water is very new to me.

Pavani N said...

Very useful post Valli with so many amazing tips. Cauliflower tempura turned out great.

Priya Srinivasan said...

Love the information you have summed up neatly on fritters valli! Tempura looks super inviting. A definite try!

Kalyani said...

My Elder one had tempura recently at a grand Hyatt buffet and I was wondering how to make the same at home .. This post is great !! Thanks

Padmajha PJ said...

Really informative post Srivalli. I like tempuras made with club soda! Cauliflower is a fav and must try for sure

veena krishnakumar said...

wow!!!That is one informative post and now I know how to make a perfect Tempura!!Looks delicious

sneha datar said...

An interesting post, very informative and tempting tempuras.

Sowmya :) said...

These tempuras look very interesting...especially making them with ice cubes.look inviting

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