Cumin-Spiced Whitebait with Toum

Now that whitebait are in season, why not try something a bit different (and lighter) than the usual whitebait fritters. The flavour of the whitebait is enhanced by cumin and Toum. They don’t overpower the delicate flavour.

  •  200g whitebait
  • 100g plain flour
  • 1½ tablespoons of cumin seeds lightly toasted and then ground.
  • ½ teaspoon of ground ginger
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of pepper
  • Oil for frying
  • Bowl of Ground’s Toum for serving

Toast the cumin seeds by placing them in a heavy, dry frying pan and put them onto medium heat. Watch carefully and shake the pan occasionally. When they smell fragrant they are done (about 3-5 minutes). Grind in a mortar and pestle or in a coffee grinder.

Put flour, cumin, ginger, salt and pepper into a bowl and mix well. Tip in the whitebait and toss until well covered. Lift them out and shake off the excess flour.

Heat the oil in a heavy frying pan. Fry the whitebait in batches for 2 to 3 minutes. Drain briefly on paper towels then tip onto a serving platter. Serve with lemon wedges and a small bowl of Toum for guests to help themselves.

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