Sunday, April 26, 2015

An Italian Classic gets a Twist. Pan Fried Baby Artichokes With Indian Spices

   This time of year, baby artichokes are all the rage. Well, I don't know exactly how much they're raging, but I seem to be seeing them everywhere. Being of Northern Italian ancestry, I grew up eating fried artichokes, and they're a standard of Italian cuisine. So, when I noticed them at Whole Foods the other day, I started wondering how they'd be prepared with Indian spices and a yogurt chili dipping sauce. Actually, I set out looking for those fresh garbanzos I couldn't seem to get my mitts on the other day, and was kicking myself around the block that I just didn't snap them up when I saw them. Ah well, you snooze you lose I guess also applies to garbanzos. Who knew?
   The way I saw it, tasty bites of gluten free breaded chicken as prepared in Chicken 65 would be no different texture wise than tasty bits of springtime baby artichokes once they were rolled in a spiced batter, and just as good. I was right. So, if you see pretty baby artichokes, don't just pass them by. Try this very simple fast recipe for a great finger food.

Pan Fried Baby Artichokes With Chili Yogurt Dipping Sauce

Here's What You Need:

12 Baby artichokes
2 cups of buttermilk
1/2 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup of white rice flour
a pinch of kashmiri chili
olive or vegetable oil for frying
1 tsp of salt
1/2 tsp of garam masala
1/2 cup of thick yogurt ( I use Greek yogurt)
1 tsp of Kashmiri chili
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp of ground coriander
salt to taste
fresh chopped cilantro

Here's What To Do:

Gather your baby artichokes. I chose these purple ones because of color.

Pour 2 cups of buttermilk into a bowl. Set it aside.

Cut off the stems of the artichokes, then peel away the dark tough outer leaves. We're not going to be eating those as we're not goats.

Cut off the pointy tops of the artichokes, then split them lengthwise.

Place the cut artichokes into the bowl of buttermilk and let them soak for about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in another bowl mix together the sorghum flour...

...the white rice flour...

...the salt...

...and garam masala.

Add in a pinch of Kashmiri chili.

Mix everything together well and set it aside. 

NOTE: this recipe can also be made non gluten free just use 1 cup of regular flour.

Pour about 1/2 inch of the vegetable or olive oil into a skillet or kadai. Turn the heat to medium high. When the oil is nice and hot, (it appears to ripple) take the artichokes out of the buttermilk and dip them into the flour spice mixture.

When they are thoroughly coated, place them carefully into the hot oil.

Make sure you don't crowd them, you may need to fry them in batches. Fry them gently, about 2 minutes on each side, until they're nicely browned and crispy.
When they're done, place them on a paper towel to drain and sprinkle them with sea salt.

Set them out and prepare the Dipping sauce.

Whip together, the yogurt, Kashmiri chili, cumin, and coriander. Place the dipping sauce in a bowl, sprinkle the artichokes with chopped fresh cilantro, sprinkle some more on top of the dipping sauce and serve them up!

   These tasty crispy 'chokes, once dipped have a nice fiery kick. Serve them with a nice Indian beer, or a chilled Chai. Throw them to your guests and stand back!  Coming up next, how to fix a vegetarian dish with the cheapest and one of the healthiest vegetables ever, sometimes it's even free. Follow along on Twitter @kathygori   


  1. this is lovely- wouldn't chickpea flour be nice too?

  2. Namaste Kathy!
    I was thinking of a besan batter too. Gluten free and lower in carbs.
    Glad to hear you are on the mend.
    Whole lotta shakin' going on here in Nepal but thankfully my family & I are safe & sound.

  3. Bibi, yes I'll try that next time. So glad you and your family are safe! A friend of ours working with an NGO had just left Nepal before the quake. Stay safe!

  4. And around here baby artichokes seem to have disappeared. All you can find are enormous globe artichokes, mostly already opening and mottled... :-( But I do love your idea of frying them Indian-style. Will have to try this!



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