Cauliflower combined with onion and spices creates fluffy and tasty cauliflower fritters. My cauliflower latkes make for a delicious side dish or a filling appetizer and snack!
Is it just me, or does it seem like cauliflower is everywhere these days? It’s not hard to see why. This vegetable makes for a great base for so many different recipes and can be found at just about any supermarket.
I’ve already adopted the trend myself, with dishes like this gobi masala, and I’ve decided to continue to experiment in the kitchen. This time, I want to share this cauliflower pancakes recipe! You may have heard them referred to as fritters or cauliflower latkes.
Latkes are traditionally made with potatoes and are served to celebrate Hanukkah. It turns out that the latke has its roots in an old Italian Jewish custom that dates back to the 14th century. Back then, the latkes were made of cheese!
You won’t find cheese or potatoes in this cauliflower fritters recipe, but I do think they come together nicely without. Try yours with a side of cool mint yogurt sauce and you’ll see what I mean!
INGREDIENT NOTES AND SUBSTITUTIONS
- Cauliflower - Florets work the best, but you can also use the vegetable in rice form. If you do opt for cauli-rice, you won’t have to cook them as long — so be aware if you decide to substitute.
- Flour - Opt for all-purpose flour to give your fritters a golden brown color when you fry them. If you want to make this recipe gluten-free, try almond or oat flour instead.
- Onion - White varieties are your best bet, but you can also sub in green onions.
- Large Eggs - The size of your eggs is crucial for this recipe. They need to be large!
- Baking Powder - You need to add baking powder to whatever type of flour you decide to use. The chemical reaction between the liquid in the batter and the baking soda will ensure that your pancakes are light and airy!
- Vegetable Oil - You’ll need this for frying. Canola is my preference, but feel free to use your favorite (as long as it has a high smoke point).
- Spices & Seasonings - This is a Middle Eastern snack, so you’ll be using ground spices that are typically seen in Palestinian cooking: cumin, cinnamon, turmeric, Aleppo chili flakes, salt, and pepper are all included. You’ll also need fresh parsley!
- Mint Yogurt Sauce - The dipping sauce is optional, but I highly recommend it:
- Plain Greek yogurt
- Lemon juice
- Olive oil
- Dried mint & salt
HOW TO MAKE CAULIFLOWER FRITTERS
1. Prepare. Before you get started, prepare your mint yogurt sauce in a small bowl and place it in the fridge. Boil the florets for about 4 minutes. And make sure that you save a bit of the cooking water for your batter!
2. Mix. Mash the boiled florets in a large bowl. Add the flour, ground spices and seasonings, fresh parsley, onion, baking powder, and cooking water and mix until well combined.
3. Fry. Heat the vegetable oil (or your oil of choice) in a large skillet. When it’s hot enough, start to add your batter! You should be able to fry about 4 cauliflower pancakes at a time. Fry for about 5 minutes on each side, or until they are golden brown. Don’t be tempted to overcrowd the skillet — it’s better to fry in batches!
4. Serve. Pair your cauliflower fritters with the mint yogurt sauce and a few lemon slices, and enjoy!
For step by step instructions on how to make the vegetable fritters, be sure to watch the recipe video!
You'll find the video in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
1. After you cook the cauliflower, you'll need to reserve a bit of the cooking water. It will be used to loosen the consistency of the fritter batter.
2. To create the best texture, it's important that you keep some of the cauliflower bits unmashed. Otherwise, the cauliflower fritters will have a pasty mouthfeel.
What Causes Fritters To Be Greasy?
There's no real way around frying your cauliflower latkes if you want them to be crispy, golden, and browned. However, there is one trick to keep them from getting too greasy! You need to make sure that both the batter and oil are at the correct temperature.
Before you add your batter to your pan, make sure that the oil is completely heated by testing it with a kitchen thermometer. Your batter should also be slightly chilled. Place it in the fridge for about 10-minutes before you fry. This will give you light and crispy cauliflower pancakes every time!
What Do You Eat With Cauliflower Fritters?
You can pair this Middle Eastern side dish with so many different things. I like to serve mine with my mint yogurt sauce, Tahini yogurt sauce, or a traditional tahini sauce. You could also try labneh or plain old sour cream!
Serve alongside grilled meats (like lamb and beef), salad, or soup for a hearty Middle Eastern meal.
How Do You Get Latkes to Stay Together?
If your cauliflower latkes are falling apart as you try to form the batter into small pancakes, consider adding a little bit more flour. If you find that they are falling apart in the frying pan, check that you’re giving the pancakes ample time to fry. Remember: let them sit for at least 5 minutes (or until golden brown) before you flip them!
Mint Yogurt Sauce
- 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 2 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ teaspoon dried mint
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 cups cauliflower cut into 1 ½ inch pieces
- 1 ¼ cup flour
- 1 cup fresh parsley finely chopped
- 1 cup white onion diced
- 2 eggs
- 1 ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- ½ teaspoon Aleppo chile flakes See Note 1
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup vegetable oil for frying
- 1 lemon sliced
- Stir together all the Mint Yogurt ingredients in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Bring a medium saucepan of salted water to the boil and add the cauliflower. Simmer for 4 minutes. Reserve ¼ cup of cooking water, set aside. Drain into a colander.
- Transfer cauliflower to a large bowl and slightly mash with potato masher or fork. Keep chunks, do not mash completely. Add the flour, parsley, onion, eggs, cumin, cinnamon, turmeric, chile flakes, baking powder salt and black pepper. Add the reserved cooking water and mix thoroughly.
- Heat the oil in a large skillet. When it starts to shimmer add 3 tablespoon of batter to the pan. Working in batches of 4 at a time, fry for 5 minutes, flipping once, until golden brown on both sides. Transfer to a aper towel lined plate or tray. Repeat with remaining batter and serve warm with Yogurt Sauce and lemon slices.
- Or substitute ½ teaspoon Aleppo chile flakes with ¼ teaspoon of red chile flakes.
- Recipe adapted from the cookbook, Falastin.
*The information shown below is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.