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Make Nigel Slater’s deep-fried courgettes and dill hummus

These fried courgettes with hummus make for a great, simple starter and a welcome addition to any dinner party

Make Nigel Slater's deep-fried courgettes and dill hummus

Serves 2

Preparation time 10 minutes

Cooking time 10 minutes

This is a beautifully simple dish – courgette batons deep-fried until the breadcrumbs are crispy and the courgettes are soft, with a homemade dill hummus. What’s not to like?

Ingredients

  • 4 tbsp cornflour
  • 2 eggs
  • Coarse breadcrumbs
  • 2x 400g cans chickpeas
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Olive oil
  • Juice of a small lemon
  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • A handful of dill
  • 250g courgettes
  • Groundnut or vegetable oil, for deep frying

Method

  1. Place the cornflour on a plate. Beat the eggs in a shallow dish and tip the breadcrumbs onto a different plate.
  2. Drain the chickpeas, then tip them into the bowl of a food processor. Peel and add the garlic, then process to a smooth, soft paste with six tablespoons of olive oil. Stir in the lemon juice, the tahini and the dill and process briefly.
  3. Slice the courgettes lengthways into large finger-sized batons. Warm enough groundnut or vegetable oil to deep-fry the courgettes, and roll them first in the cornflour, then the beaten egg and lastly the breadcrumbs.
  4. As the oil becomes hot enough, lower the courgettes, a few a time, into the oil and let them fry for three or four minutes till crisp outside and soft within. If your oil is too hot, the crumbs will cook before the courgette inside is tender. Test the heat of the oil with a small cube of bread. If it turns golden within thirty seconds the oil is too hot.
  5. Your courgettes need a good 3-4 minutes to cook. Drain on kitchen paper and serve with the dill hummus.
  6. You could use a tempura batter instead of breadcrumbs (80g plain flour and 20g cornflour to 175ml ice-cold water), or serve the hot fritters with a garlic mayonnaise or cucumber tzatziki.
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