The Big Chilli Advent Calendar: Aji Amarillo Sweetcorn Fritters

Aji amarillo, also known as the mirasol or simply ‘yellow chilli’, is a mild Peruvian chilli with a warm, fruity aroma. It’s a common ingredient across western South America, where you’ll often see it used in marinades, spice rubs and stews.

Aji amarillo has a lingering, fragrant heat that works brilliantly with creamy sauces, squash and root vegetables. Add to cream or a roux for white sauce to make creamed spinach with a subtle chilli warmth. Use aji amarillo powder to season a butternut squash soup, or dust over carrots and parsnips before roasting.

A fun way to start a party with friends informally snacking in the kitchen. The sunshine-coloured aji amarillo chilli adds a lingering and fragrant heat to these fritters.

This is an extract from The Big Chilli Advent Calendar 2018


Ingredients Serves: 10

  • 200g tinned sweetcorn
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 4 finely chopped spring onions
  • 1 finely diced red pepper
  • the finely grated zest of ½ lime
  • the juice of 1 whole lime
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • a small bunch of finely chopped fresh coriander
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 75g potato starch
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 sachet (8g) aji amarillo powder 
  • 75g cold sparkling water
  • sunflower oil to frying
  • Flaky sea salt for serving

Method

  1. Drain the tinned sweetcorn and tip into a large mixing bowl. Add garlic clove, minced, spring onions, red pepper, lime zest, the juice a lime, ground cumin, fresh coriander and salt, and mix well.
  2. In a separate bowl, stir together potato starch (often called potato flour – it is a very fine white powder like cornflour), bicarbonate of soda, aji amarillo powder and cold sparkling water to make a thick paste.
  3. Pour the potato starch paste into the vegetable bowl and mix thoroughly.
  4. Heat 3-inches of sunflower oil in a heavy-based saucepan until it reaches 180°C, or until a small piece of bread sizzles when dropped into the oil.
  5. Working in batches, carefully lower tablespoons of the corn mixture into the hot oil and fry for about 3-4 minutes, or until a deep golden colour.
  6. Remove from the pan using a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt before serving.


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