You will find these crisp little fritters, called tortillitas de camarones in Spanish, being sold on every windswept street corner in the port of Cádiz in southern Spain. They source the smallest shrimps they can find, but in my recipe I have used prawn cutlets. Chickpea flour and good Spanish paprika are the secret ingredients that make these fritters unforgettable.
• 1 tbsp self-raising flour
• 1¼ cups chickpea flour
• ¾ tsp bicarbonate of soda
• 1½ tsp flaky salt
• 100ml water
• 1 egg
• 90ml extra virgin olive oil
• 1½ tsp Spanish smoked paprika
• ½ tsp cayenne pepper
• zest of 1 lemon
• 3 tbsp very finely chopped onion
• 4 tbsp finely chopped curly parsley
• 330g raw prawn cutlets (defrosted and roughly chopped) or baby shrimps
• 100ml olive oil for frying
• lemon wedges to serve
1. Sift the flours, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a bowl. Mix the water and egg, add the olive oil and stir to combine, then gradually blend into the flour mixture to form a thin batter. Add the paprika, cayenne pepper, onion, parsley and prawns or shrimps and mix well.
2. Heat the olive oil in a frying-pan. When it begins to shimmer, drop in a large spoonful of batter for each fritter, frying 3 at a time (if you crowd the pan, the oil temperature will drop and you will end up with oily fritters). Fry until golden and crisp on both sides and cooked through. Ensure the batter is well spread out so the fritters will be crisp all the way through.
3. Remove from the pan and drain on paper towels. Serve hot in stacks with lemon wedges.
The perfect dip for these fritters is to take your favourite mayonnaise and add some Spanish smoked paprika and a touch of garlic. This makes a paprika aïoli.
Homemade, by Simon Gault, published by Pengiun, is available now. RRP $60