Stir-fried green cabbage goes well with the sweetness of the pineapple in the sauce. Chinese cabbage works especially well, but ordinary green cabbage is also fine. This dish also goes very well with a green lettuce salad, but in April I still have a while to wait for lettuce from the garden (especially in a late spring, as it is this year).
If you remember to soak and cook the chick peas in advance (or if you use tinned ones), this is a quick meal to cook. The fritter batter keeps well in the fridge for two or three days, so if you want a smaller quantity you can just fry as many fritters as you want and keep the rest of the batter for later. The batter will separate during storage (which looks alarming the first time it happens); just stir it thoroughly with a spoon and it will soon go back to normal.
Sweet and sour chick pea fritters with stir-fried cabbage
6 oz (approx 150 g) chick peas
4 oz (approx 100 g) plain flour
0.25 pint (approx 150 ml) water
1 Tablespoon (1 x 15 ml spoon) soy sauce (optional)
1 green pepper
Approx 1” (approx 2.5 cm) cube root ginger
1 Tablespoon (1 x 15 ml spoon) cornflour
1 Tablespoon (1 x 15 ml spoon) tomato puree
1 Tablespoon (1 x 15 ml spoon) wine vinegar
12 oz (approx 300 g) tin pineapple pieces in juice (NOT in syrup)
Approximately 0. 5 pint (approx 300 ml) water
Approx 1 lb (approx 450 g) green cabbage or Chinese cabbage
1 Tablespoon (1 x 15 ml spoon) soy sauce
1 Tablespoon (1 x 15 ml spoon) cooking sherry
Soak the chick peas for 6-8 hours or overnight. Cook in boiling water until tender (usually about 1 – 1.25 hours). Drain. (Or you can use tinned chick peas; follow the cooking instructions on the tin)
Wash, trim and finely shred the cabbage.
Mix the egg, flour and soy sauce (if using) to a thick paste. Gradually mix in the water to make a smooth batter. Season with salt to taste, and leave to stand for half an hour or so if possible (not necessary if you’re in a hurry).
Peel and chop the onion. Peel and shred the root ginger. Remove the seeds from the green pepper and chop.
Fry the onion, pepper and ginger gently in cooking oil in a small saucepan until starting to colour.
Stir in the cornflour and mix well.
Pour in the contents of the tin of pineapple including the juice, followed by the water. Add the wine vinegar and tomato puree. Bring to the boil, and leave to simmer on a low heat while you make the fritters.
Stir the cooked and drained chick peas into the batter.
Heat cooking oil in a wok or frying pan. Drop spoonfuls of the chick pea batter into the hot oil and fry over a medium heat until golden brown on the underside (2-3 minutes approx). Turn the fritters and fry the other side. When cooked, lift the fritters out of the oil and keep warm while you fry the next batch of fritters, either on a tempura rack over the wok if you have one or in a low oven.
When all the fritters are cooked, add the shredded cabbage to the wok and stir fry for 2-3 minutes over a high heat until starting to wilt. Stir in the sherry and soy sauce and cook for another half-minute or so.
Put the fritters on a warm serving dish or plates, pour the sweet and sour sauce over them, and serve with the stir-fried cabbage and noodles.