These are extremely addictive – thickly sliced red and white onions dipped in a tongue-tingling peppery batter and fried until golden and crisp.
Grind the cumin, peppercorns and sea salt together using a mortar and pestle, until you have a coarse powder.
Pour the water into a shallow dish. Gradually add the flour, shaking it through a sieve and beating with a fork. Stir in the ground spices and salt mixture.
Separate the onion slices into rings. Spread them out on a tray and lightly dust with flour, shaking off any excess.
Heat about 8cm/3¼in of oil to 160–180°C/310–350°F in a large, heavy-based saucepan or electric deep-fat fryer. Line a tray with crumpled paper towels.
Once the oil is up to temperature, dip the onion rings in the batter and drop them into the oil a few at a time. Shunt them around using a slotted spoon or wire scoop. Fry for 2–3 minutes or until golden, then scoop them out of the pan and on to the paper towels to drain. Keep warm in a low oven while you cook the rest.
Tip into a warm serving bowl, sprinkle with more sea salt. Serve hot with Black Pepper Crème Fraîche or thick Greek yogurt for dipping.
© 2008 Christine McFadden. All rights reserved.