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Conch Fritters
Conch Fritters
Conch Fritters
300 g fresh conch
1⁄2 scotch bonnet
1⁄2 tsp cayenne powder
1 large egg
200 g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
120 ml beer
120 ml club soda
2 l vegetable oil
100 g coconut palm sugar
50 ml hot water
1 brown onion
2 plum tomatoes
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp tomato purée
400 g black eyed peas tinned
1 l water
300 g long-grain white rice
1 tbsp tamarind paste
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 large egg yolks
250 ml groundnut oil
1 lemon
  1. Place the conch on a chopping board and use the rough side of a meat mallet (or a rolling pin) to pound the conch to a 1⁄2cm thin sheet. Finely dice the conch meat and transfer a food processor. Pulse to mince finely then transfer to a large mixing bowl (you could also use a 50/50 mix of scallop and crayfish).
  2. Finely mince the scotch bonnet, wearing gloves if you prefer, and add it to the conch with the cayenne powder and the egg. In a medium bowl whisk together the flour and baking powder. Season with salt and pepper, add it to the conch mix and stir until well combined. Pour in the beer and club soda and stir until combined.
  3. Add the palm sugar to a small saucepan over a medium heat. Allow the sugar to dissolve then start to darken. Continue to cook until very dark brown, beyond caramel colour. Very carefully pour in the hot water. The pan will steam and splutter. Continue to stir until it comes together into a sauce, then season with salt. Set aside until needed.
  4. Peel and slice the onion. Roughly dice the tomatoes. Heat the tbsp of oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onion and fry gently for 10 minutes, then stir in the tomato purée, fresh tomatoes and 1 tbsp of the sugar mix (browning). Add the black eyed peas and pour in 1l of water. Bring everything to a boil and add the rice. Cook until the rice absorbs almost all of the water, then turn the heat down to low and cover the pot. Steam for a few minutes until the rice is cooked and all of the liquid is absorbed.
  5. Preheat a fryer or a large, deep saucepan filled 2⁄3 of the way up with oil to 190°C. Never leave it unattended. Scoop the batter using a tablespoon and gently drop it into the hot oil. Cook in batches for 4-5 minutes until they float in the oil, transferring cooked fritters to a tray lined with kitchen paper.
  6. Blend together the tamarind, Dijon mustard and the egg yolks. Slowly drizzle in the oil, blending or whisking constantly until the mixture thickens enough to hold it’s shape. Season to taste with lemon juice, salt and pepper.
  7. Serve the drained conch fritters with the peas and rice and plenty of the mayonnaise to dip.
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