Sourcing recipes for around the world cooking has proven to be tricky for some countries, the Solomon Islands was one of the more challenging ones. The food from the Solomon Islands has been influenced by the trade of exotic fruit, vegetables and spices from Asia and India as well as it's colonisation by the British. Coconuts, cassava, sweet potato, breadfruit, bananas and taro account for a large portion of the fresh produce intake on the Solomon Islands.
The first recipe I found that was linked to the Solomon Islands was called Kara which is a portion of corned beef smothered in coconut cream surrounded by an outer layer of grated cassava. It is typically wrapped in banana leaves before being steamed. I was keen to give this a try especially as I already had corned beef seitan sitting in the fridge, the only problem was that couldn't find cassava so I continued searching for other recipes.
Finding a recipe that used accessible ingredients proved to be difficult so I was relieved to finally discover a recipe for sweet potato and parsnip fritters linked to the Solomon Islands. The recipe was almost vegan as it only required one egg to be substituted and it was gluten free as it used rice flour. It was a simple recipe to make although the mixture didn't hold together well when I cooked the first batch of fritters so I added additional rice flour and the next couple of batches turned out much better. The ground cumin, cayenne pepper and curry leaves in the batter gave the fritters a nice amount of heat which were lovely paired with some mango chutney, rice and steamed asparagus.
Sweet potato and parsnip fritters (Adapted from Veria Living)
250g sweet potato, peeled and grated
250g parsnip, peeled and grated
25 - 30 curry leaves, finely chopped
1/2 cup rice flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 - 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (depending on your spice tolerance)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 - 1 teaspoon sea salt, to taste
1 tablespoon ground flaxseed mixed with 3 tablespoons water
1/2 cup ice cold water
oil, for shallow frying
Place the grated sweet potato and parsnip in a large bowl and add the curry leaves, rice flour, baking powder, cayenne pepper, ground cumin and sea salt. Pour in the flaxseed mixture and water and stir well until the ingredients are combined thoroughly.
Heat some oil over medium-high in a deep sided frying pan. Drop small portions of the fritter mixture into the oil and flatten slightly with the back of a spatula, ensuring they have some room to spread out. Fry for a couple of minutes on each side until golden brown then drain on paper towels. Place the cooked fritters in a warm oven while you are cooking the rest of the batch.
Did you know?
Plum Pudding Island in the Solomon Islands was renamed to Kennedy Island after Lt John F Kennedy, the former US President. During World War II the patrol torpedo boat John F Kennedy and his crew were aboard was rammed by a Japanese destroyer. Two soldiers died in the incident and JFK aided the remaining crew members to this island.