A friend of mine once asked me to make a recipe with Omena. I understand that Omena or Rastrineobola Argentea, the scientific name, is only found in Lake Victoria.
The tiny silver fishes are sun-dried for a day before being brought to the markets. It is usually cooked in a stew with onions and tomatoes. Actually, I never ate it the local way. It seems that people here love omena or loath it. For some reason each time I saw sun-dried omena packets in the markets I am always tempted to do fritters.
Well, thanks to my friend’s request, I have done it, made a recipe, had it tested and tasted by my local entourage and the verdict is “this so good”, “how do you make it?”
– Why you called the dish beignets instead of fritters?
– Because beignet gives elegance to something so simple.
This recipe makes lots of beignets. At least 25 to 35. Consequently besides being good it is extremely cheap to make. I apologize for the people living outside East Africa. However, if you get them, try them.
- 100 gr of Sun dried omena which is found anywhere in the East African countries bordering Lake Victoria
- 250 gr of flour sifted
- 3 eggs
- 2 tsp pf baking powder
- 1 small onions finely diced
- 3 cloves of garlic finely chopped
- 2 tbsps. of minced parsley
- 1 tbsp. of minced fresh coriander
- 1 green chili (optional) but so good
- 1 cup of water – 225 ml
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Oil for frying
- 1 lime cut in wedges for serving.
- Soak the omena in hot water for 5 to 15 minutes. I did it twice and lots of sand like dust rested at the bottom of the bowl. Rinse and dry thoroughly
- Sift the flour in a bowl
- Add the finely mince onion, garlic, thyme and parsley
- Add the omena
- Add one whole egg , the water and mix nicely
- Add the baking powder, mix
- Separate the 2 remaining eggs and whisk the whites into a firm snow. Fold the egg white into the mixture. Keep the egg yolks for another use.
- Add salt and pepper to taste and let the mixture rest for at least 20 minutes
- Pour oil to a depth of 3 to 5 centimeter in a frying pan and heat up to a medium high
- Drop a table-spoon of the mixture into the hot oil and fry both sides until golden brown. The beignets should be crispy on the outside with a soft center. It takes about one minute per beignet and not more than 3 minutes per batch
Serve with lime wedges.