One of the main reasons I could never move to the countryside is because I seriously couldn’t bear to be too far from the ethnic shops and grocers I’ve grown up with in the smoke. I’m constantly amazed at the comedy prices supermarkets slap onto exotic ingredients like those miniature packets of okra, tiny bags of rootless coriander leaves, pickled lemons and tahini. But then, I am lucky enough to live near a Moroccan butchers where I can scoop up big bottles of pomegranate molasses, decorative tins of harissa and home made packages of nutty, herb flecked za’tar at about an eighth of the price. It’s always nice when you can make dishes that don’t ultimately taste of rip off.
I wanted to try something more exciting with my za’atar than just dipping it in bread and these onion rings were the answer. Hot and crunchy with the fluffiest of fillings; we gingerly ate them dipped straight from the pan into cold, creamy yoghurt speckled with garlic, mint, cumin and salt.
1 large onion, sliced into rings and separated
100g rice flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
8 tbsp. za’atar
a dinner plate sprinkled with panko breadcrumbs
oil for frying
parmesan cheese, finely grated
a wire rack placed over some foil/kitchen roll
- heat the oil
- mix the flour, baking powder, za’atar and salt in a small bowl and dip the onion rings in this mixture until well coated. Set aside.
- Crack the egg and whisk the milk into the remaining flour mixture in the small bowl and dip the floured onion rings into the batter, coating well. Place on the wire rack to drain.
- combine the panko crumbs and Parmesan in a shallow platter coat each ring thoroughly. Tap off any excess.
- deep fry the rings in small batches for about 2-3 minutes or until golden brown. Sprinkle over a little more za’atar and serve immediately.