The warm and generous Chef Georgiana Viou stops by my kitchen.
The Chef from Nîmes shows us a dear to her heart recipe: the Beninese fritter. A savoury batter, which she filles with sardine for us.
Find all her childhood’s recipes in her book “Le goût de Cotonou. Ma cuisine du Bénin” (in French) on her website: https://georgianaviou.com/
And if you go through the South of France, try a gourmet tasting at Rouge in Nîmes. Where the savours and savoir-faire of the Mediterranean cuisine are enhanced by her Beninese touch, which, from her beginnings, add a very tasty character to her delights.
300 g of wheat flour.
15 cl of tepid water.
9 g of baker yeast (fresh or dehydrated).
1 pinch of salt.
5/6 pepper mill turns.
Mashed condiment: 25 g of onion.
Mashed condiment: 3 g of ginger.
Mashed condiment: 1 garlic clove.
1 canned sardines’ box, for example Titus in oil (or any other canned sardines).
Oil for frying.
A mixing bowl.
A greaseproof paper.
A skimming spoon.
A frying pan and a hotplate, or a fryer.
The kneading: a dozen of minutes
Resting of the dough: more or less 30 minutes.
Shaping of the fritters: more or less 30 minutes.
Cooking: more or less 5 minutes at 170/175°C (for a fryer) per session, while turning the fritter over from time to time.
Pour the tepid water in the mixing bowl.
Add the yeast and blend it with the water till it is completely absorbed in the water.
Add your three mashed condiments and mixed again.
Salt, pepper and blend this liquid a last time.
Blend you flour to the liquid in two times, to avoid lumps.
Knead your dough till it is unstuck from the mixing bowl. Do not hesitate to press on it to give it some strength.
Leave your dough to rest for about thirty minutes at room temperature. You could cover it with a clean cloth to avoid draught that could damage it.
Put your oil to heat or start your fryer.
Flatten a slightly floured piece of batter on your greaseproof paper.
Spread a layer of crushed sardines in the middle of your batter.
Close your dough in a turnover form while taking care of pinching the edges for a better grip of the dough.
You can, also realise other forms, following your desires. Like this ring form shown by Georgiana in this video.
Gently place your batters in your hot frying oil.
Wait until your fritters are back at the surface.
Turn them over to get a nice homogeneous colouring.
Fry for more or less 5 minutes in a 170/175°C oil while frequently turning your fritters to get a homogeneous colour on each side.
Get the fritters out of the pan with your skimming spoon while letting the oil dry.
Let your Beninese fritters cool down a bit and savour them right after.
A very warm thank you to Georgiana for this invitation to Benin with her.