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Nettle bhajis

Nettle Bhajis

I suspect people have been eating nettles ever since they settled down and starting creating round their homes the rich, fertile conditions nettles love. It is so much more relaxing to regard nettles as an asset rather than try to eradicate them from your garden.
The robust flavour of cooked nettles can take a lot of spicing so is ideal for these bhajis.


Time taken 30 - 40 minutes, excluding picking time  Makes 15 large or 20 small bhajis

Wearing rubber gloves, pick just the top 4 or 6 tender leaves from each nettle stem. You will need a colander full to make 15 or 20 bhajis.
Also pick 2 large Sweet Cicely leaves to add a hint of aniseed.

Wash the leaves thoroughly and drain well.

In the food processor, fitted with the blade, put

a raw egg
,
a little salt
and
 3 teaspoons of a mix of ground cumin, black pepper, coriander, mace
. If you have long pepper or Javanese cubeb pepper these are excellent.

Add the washed leaves and pulse until the leaves are finely chopped.
Add a tablespoon of gram flour, but plain wheat flour will do. Pulse again to incorporate.

Heat a good film of oil in a large frying pan. Take a small teaspoon of the mixture, fry for 2 minutes on both sides. Taste for seasoning, adding more salt or spices if the bhaji seems too bland.

Then take spoonfuls of the mixture, smooth and slightly flatten as you fry them.
Serve hot, warm or cold.