Trim the vegetables. Deseed peppers and cut them into strips. Cut courgettes lengthwise into 4 and then into neat batons. Slice onions into rings. Cut aubergines into discs. Trim the spring onions.
Make the sauce: peel, smash and chop the garlic and put in a pan with the olive oil over a low heat together with the anchovies. Stir from time to time until the anchovies break down to form a thick paste.
Remove from the heat and when just warm, stir in the yogurt and transfer to a bagna cauda over a flame or to a suitable bowl.
Heat the sunflower oil to 190°C/375°F and
Make the batter: beat the egg in a bowl. Continue to beat, adding the lager in a thin stream. Add the bicarbonate and salt to the flour, then dump this in one go into the liquid and stir a few times barely to mix. There should be lumps! Stir until smooth and you will end up with a heavy coating when fried. Let stand for 10 minutes.
Dip the vegetables in the batter and fry a few at a time, transferring them to a dish lined with paper towels and keeping them in the low oven until all are done.
If using a bagna cauda, place in the centre of a large serving dish surrounded by fried vegetable pieces for people to help themselves and dip into the warm sauce. Alternatively, put a spoonful or two of the sauce into the middle of each plate and arrange the battered vegetables around, giving everybody a selection.
© 1995 Alastair Little. All rights reserved.