Corn Fritters with Plantain Ketchup

corn fritters

I enjoy wandering through Brixton market looking to see what catches my eye and gets me thinking. I saw some banana ketchup recently and thought it sounded fantastic but was alarmed to see three different kinds of sugar and a whole load of starches in there when surely you must be able to make it at home. I looked for a few tomato ketchup recipes and then adapted it to use plantain instead as I thought the natural starch in them would make a great consistency to the condiment.

Fresh corn season is just starting in the market and I’ve been meaning to do some kind of fritter all summer, but when I stumbled across a bag of cornmeal I’d forgotten I had, I decided it had to be corn fritters. You could use defrosted frozen corn instead if you can’t get fresh.

Don’t be alarmed by what looks like a long list of ingredients. Both dishes are very easy to make and I whipped this up in about 30 minutes for both, having never made either before.

Plantain Ketchup: makes 2 medium jam jars

  • 1 inch piece fresh ginger grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely diced
  • 1 banana shallot, finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 scotch bonnet pepper
  • 2 teaspoons ground allspice
  • 120ml vinegar
  • 2 very ripe plantain, mashed up
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon tomato puree
  • 2 tablespoons dark muscovado sugar
  • 100ml tamarind water (use the extract for ease or soak the pulp for 30 minutes)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oil and cook the shallot, garlic, ginger and scotch bonnet until soft but not coloured. This should take about 5 minutes. Add in the allspice and fry for about 30 seconds to release the flavour.

Add in half the tamarind water, the tomato puree, soy and vinegar. Stir well and then add the mashd up plantain. Use nice ripe ones that are starting to go black and squishy. Mix well, add the rest of the tamarind water and allow to simmer on a low heat for about 10 minutes or until the plantain has started to break up and the whole thing comes together.

Blend with an hand blender, adding enough water (about 200mls) to make a ketchup texture that you could pour. Bottle into jam jars you have sterilised at 160°C in the oven for about 15 minutes. The ketchup should keep in the fridge for about 3-4 weeks.

Corn Fritters: makes 10 (serves 3-4 as part of a meal, double the amounts if needs be)

  • 150g corn (about one ear fresh)
  • 100g cornmeal
  • 100g plain flour (substitute rice flour if gluten free)
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 scotch bonnet pepper
  • 2 scallions, finely sliced
  • 100ml buttermilk or yoghurt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 100ml vegetable oil

If you are using fresh corn, trim the kernels off with a knife and add in the flour, bicarb, cornmeal, scallions and scotch bonnet.

In a separate dish beat the egg and the buttermilk together. Add a drop of water if you are using yoghurt as you want the texture quite loose. The lactic acid in the buttermilk or yoghurt reacts with the bicarbonate of soda to help these fritters rise into light  little puffs of corn.

Mix the egg and buttermilk into the corn and flour mix and then spoon dessertspoonfuls of the mix into a frying pan of hot oil. About 3 should fit at a time. Fry for about 2 minutes each side until puffed up and golden. Drain on kitchen roll and serve piping hot with a healthy dollop of plantain ketchup.

I actually don’t like tomato ketchup but I loved this plantain version so much I finished a jar in less than week. It is beyond delicious despite not being a particularly appealing colour.


Comments are closed.