Deep-fried Jerusalem artichokes with aubergine yoghurt relish

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Preparation info

  • Serves


    as a first course
    • Difficulty


Appears in

Vegetables: The new food heroes


By Peter Gordon

Published 2007

  • About

This is a lovely way to eat these controversial tubers. They tend to give half the population rather bad flatulence – due to a carbohydrate they contain that we mostly can’t digest. They are, in fact, a member of the sunflower family and came originally from North America, where they were a common food among many Native Americans. The name comes from the Italian for sunflower – girasole – as they are not artichokes, and they’re definitely not from Jerusalem.


  • 600 g Jerusalem artichokes
  • vegetable oil for deep-frying

For the Aubergine Yoghurt Relish

  • 1 aubergine, stem removed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon chilli flakes
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 100 g thick plain yoghurt


Wash excess dirt off the artichokes; you may need to use a scrubbing brush or steel wool to get into their little nooks and crannies. Place in a deep pot and cover with cold water, add 1 tablespoon salt and bring to the boil, then cook until you can just insert a thin knife into them. Tip into a colander, then cut them open lengthways while they’re hot (a pair of tongs and a sharp knife are required unless you have chefs’ asbestos fingers). Leave them to cool down and let the steam escape from within, as this will help them cook when deep-frying.

Prepare the aubergine yoghurt relish: peel alternating lengthways strips of skin from the aubergine to leave it decoratively half-striped, then cut it into 1.5cm cubes. Mix together the olive oil, garlic, chilli and cumin. Heat a pan and add the garlic mixture, stirring to prevent it burning. Once the garlic has turned golden, add the aubergine pieces and stir for 10 seconds to coat them in the flavoured oil. Add 150ml of cold water and ½ teaspoon of salt. Cover and cook over a moderate heat for 8 minutes, stirring twice. Uncover and stir, then continue to cook uncovered, stirring frequently, until most of the liquid has evaporated. Tip on to a plate and allow to cool down. Mix in the yoghurt, then taste and adjust the seasoning, if necessary.

Heat oil for deep-frying to 180°C and deep-fry the artichokes in 2–3 batches until golden brown. Remove each batch from the oil and drain on kitchen paper, sprinkling with a little salt.

To Serve

Put the relish in a bowl and serve alongside the artichokes.