Party Pupus

This quaint cast iron pan, heavier than a truck-load of lead bricks (useful as a defensive weapon), is the latest addition to my growing arsenal of cooking implements.  I was determined however, that it would not be a single use item.  Today we are not featuring the standard product of the Aebleskiver pan, which are naturally, Aebleskivers.  A sort of Danish cross between popovers and pancakes.   We did the Aebleskiver breakfast thing Sunday.  And, they were fun and very tasty, though my expertise in turning and filling left something to be desired.

I have found another excellent use for this cute pan.  Now we can make Cocktail Bondas, or my own version of them anyway.  In Hawaii, as you may have heard, we call them Pupus.  Yes indeed, we do.  Visitors are always amazed we would eat such a thing, or call them that anyway.  Since this is definitely the Season for it, you should try these spicy party nibbles, or before meal starters.

Chickpea Fritters
Pupus, Appetizers, Bondas, or what have you.  This amount makes about 8 of them, so you can increase the ingredients to suit.

3/4 cup chickpea flour
1/2 cup water or less (just enough to make a thickish pancake consistency)
1 egg, separated
1 tablespoon curry leaves, finely minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
dash hot chili sauce, or a small minced chili pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons shallot or green onion, minced finely
ghee, olive oil or your own favorite lubricant (going with the Indian inspiration, I used ghee)

Yogurt dipping sauce
1/2 cup yogurt
juice of 1/2 lemon
salt to taste

Heat the pan on medium low heat.

Finely mince the onion and curry leaves.  Mix the egg yolk with water and add chickpea flour.  Add remaining ingredients.  Whip egg white to soft peaks and fold in well.

Put a raisin sized piece of ghee into each well and heat til bubbling hot.  Fill almost to the top of each with the batter.  When they're getting a bit crispy on the edges and bubbling in the middle, carefully turn with a chopstick and cook till nicely golden brown on all sides. The tendancy will be to have them cook faster, but the heat really needs to be lower than you would think.  Be patient.   Serve with the dipping sauce, which can be mixed up very quickly while the fritters are cooking.
Much nicer with an aperitif than opening a bag of chips.  You could vary the herbs and seasonings endlessly, according to what is on hand.  If you make them early, they can be re-heated, wrapped in foil.

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