Spiced Split Pea Fritters with Coconut Chutney



Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes about

    12 pieces

Appears in

Southeast Asian Flavors: Adventures in Cooking the Foods of Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia & Singapore

Southeast Asian Flavors

By Robert Danhi

Published 2008

  • About

These savory “doughnuts” are quite addictive. They’re very hearty, yet tender because they are made from finely ground beans, not flour. I recommend serving with Coconut Chutney. Though it’s not authentic, I must admit I enjoy mixing some chili sauce into coconut milk to make another tasty quick dip for these.


  • 1 heaping cup (½ lb. / 227 g.) Split urad dhal (skinless black lentils)
  • 1 tsp. Kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp. Ground black pepper
  • ½ Medium Onions, minced
  • ¼ cup Finely diced Long green chilies or other hot green chili (See Southeast Asian Pantry for acceptable substitutions)
  • 14 Curry leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp. Cumin seeds
  • 1 Tbsp. Vegetable oil
  • 12 sheets Parchment paper or aluminum foil, 3 × 3 inches (7.5 × 7.5 cm.)


  1. Wash the urad dhal in three changes of water, cover with room temperature water and soak 4 to 8 hours.
  2. Preheat a deep-fryer (or a pot with 6 cups vegetable oil) to 350°F. (177 C°) Drain dhal very well; combine salt, pepper and ¼ cup of onions. Grind in food processor until finely ground (particles should be about the size of mustard seeds). Transfer to mixing bowl.
  3. Add remaining ¾ cup onions, chilies, curry leaves, and cumin to chopped dhal. Divide mixture into 12 equal portions, 2 tablespoons each ( oz. / 42 g.).
  4. Oil one side of parchment or foil. Place ball in center of oiled sheet, and then push a finger through the center until it touches the parchment, creating a doughnut shape. Flatten, if necessary, to 1-inch (2.5 cm.) thickness.
  5. Gently transfer the fritters, parchment sheets included, into deep-fryer. After about a minute, carefully remove paper with tongs and continue to fry fritters until they are a deep brown color. Remove from oil, and drain on absorbent paper. Serve with coconut chutney.