Cauliflower fritters and the stink of learning

A conversation had with the eldest of our progeny went like this.

Me: You smell of school.
Kid 1: I hate the smell of school too. It’s the stink of learning.

It is true that our boys emanate a certain odour upon their return from school which is, well, rather unpleasant. However, I always thought it had more to do with the running, jumping, sweating, wearing enclosed shoes, stinky socks, and being cooped up in classrooms with twenty five or so other human beans along with their bodily emissions.

In my imagination, the smell (or stink) of learning would consist of the earthy scent of knowledge filled books and the exciting aroma of information. You would be enveloped by the bouquet of well washed teachers who are thrilled to impart knowledge and to empower our children to be independent and critical thinkers.

But then, what do I know? All that is required is a shedding of uniforms and some serious bathing to ablute the young ‘uns of the heady aroma of school. These fritters are packed full of cauliflower (the totally hip vegetable of the hour.) They smell only of good things, the tingly exotic spices of India and the promise of something tasty to eat. We usually serve them with an Indian style tomato relish or yoghurt and mint sauce.

I would rather walk into a house that was perfumed by the fragrance of delicious fritters than the odiferous miasma of stinky, day old school socks. Like, any day.


Olive oil/grapeseed oil for frying
1/2 cauliflower, trimmed and chopped into small 1.5 cm pieces
1 medium red onion, (half it then finely slice each half)
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 tsps sea salt
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp chilli powder (or 1/2 fresh red chilli finely diced)
Black pepper, a few healthy grinds
Handful of fresh coriander, stalks and leaves roughly chopped
3 eggs, beaten
1 cup millet flour (or sorghum flour or brown rice flour)
1/2 cup plain gluten free flour
1 1/2 tsps gf baking powder
3/4 to 1 cup water

Preheat oven to 170C and line two large baking trays with baking paper.
Place the cauliflower, onion, garlic, spices and coriander into a large bowl.
Sift the flours and baking powder into the large bowl. (I am big on saving on washing up.)
Add the egg and half a cup of the water, mix well. If the batter is too dry, continue to add the rest of the water until you have a loose batter.
Heat 2-3 tablespoons of oil in a large non stick frying pan.
To make the fritters, add 2 – 3 large spoonfuls of the batter for each fritter into the pan. The mixture will be chunky and look like it won’t hold together but it will. Once they are golden brown on the bottom, flip them carefully and cook until golden brown on the other side. Remove to the tray and repeat the process until the batter is used up.
Place the fritters in the oven and cook for fifteen to twenty minutes until they are puffy and golden brown.
Makes ten very big fritters or if you wish to make smaller ones, just use 1 – 2 tablespoons of batter when making them.

A Cheergerm recipe creation

36 thoughts on “Cauliflower fritters and the stink of learning

  1. Huh? Cauliflower is hip? For once something I like is on trend. One of my kids refuses to eat it any form because she says it looks like brains. Perhaps once she knows it is hip she’ll partake. I’m going to pass along the “stink of learning” to my newly retired husband, a former teacher, and see if he remembers it.

    • It appears so, cauliflower pizza, cauliflower rice, cauliflower ear…just kidding on the last one. I am sure the fact this it’s totally hip will make your daughter change her mind….right? I would be keen to hear if he does remember that special odour. 😁

  2. Do the stinky lads also eat these fritters? If so, they have learnt well. I love the look of these tasy drops.
    The stink of learning I love is becoming obsolete. The turning of pages in a book, researching in a library, footnoting and recognising sources, Sadly, the iPad generation has a new stink- grabbing snippets from here and there, not able to understand plagiarism, unable to concentrate.

    • Sadly no, the stinky ones look upon these fritters with disdain. However, they will eat my corn fritters. A small mercy, no? Thanks Mrs Italian, they are quite tasty. Yes, as I was writing this I did ponder how the Information Highway would smell? Couldn’t pin it down, like static electricity? I know technology has it’s place but books were my first true love and always will be. You will really enjoy this parody of the song All About the Bass. Cracked me up anyway.

      • Hilarious, As much as I love books, I now have a kindle. The saddest part s that I can’t pass anything on. Can’t put the book p on the shelf, feel it look at it again. Sad,

      • Glad you liked it! I too use a kindle app on my IPad (hand for travel aren’t they?) but sometimes I will go and buy real books as well. And childrens book and cookbooks. Well, we all buy cookbooks. 😁

  3. You do have a way of making even the unpalatable sound appealing, Cheergerm. Just imagining the ‘odour of learning’ and your sweaty young fellas fresh out of school makes me long for bygone days. Seems I have all of the ingredients for these fritters, too, so I may just try them. I don’t have the sorghum though – will regular flour do if gluten free is not an issue?

    • Ha, thanks Mel. It did occur to me that maybe it was an odd link but that’s just where the old brain box took me. Glad it wasn’t too gross! 😁 Yes, just swap out the entire one and a half cups of flour amount to regular flour, maybe half plain and half wholemeal for extra health benefits? You may need more or less water, just mix until you have a loose batter. They are really tasty. 😊

  4. Mmm, yummy and also food for thought. I’m intrigued by that last oven step. I’ve been making something similar for years but without the oven step or the baking powder. And mine don’t hold together very well, they’re just egg and bread crumbs.
    As to the stink of learning, it brings back memories of piles of gym clothes, malodorous lockers, and shoes–though I like to think we ladies were never quite as ripe as the lads πŸ™‚ But I love the scent of paper and books. All too rare these days.

    • I don’t think us ladies were ever as stinky as the lads. I have been warned that adolescent boys become quite whiffy. Something to look forward to. Yes, the scent of books, so beautiful. I like to think that there will always be fiction, cookbooks and beautiful books around. Some things you just need to hold in your hands to read. Your fritters sound intriguing as well. I have seen recipes that use blanched cauliflower but I like the raw with the second cook to get them to that toothsome point. These ones really do look like they won’t stick together but they do. So many fritters to try, so little time. 😁

      • I got the recipe from an Italian-American who said it was how his mother made them. Though it wasn’t really a recipe, more instructions: take some cauliflower, do this, do that, LOL. I blanch it first and use onions and herbs, add the egg, then enough breadcrumbs so it holds together, and serve with marinara sauce. But I like the idea of a version with more of a batter, that really comes together and puffs a bit.

      • Oh I love the story of your recipe and now I want to try something like that…the breadcrumbs sound like they add a nice texture. Those kind of instructions crack me up. You get home, think you are ready to go and you think…what the heck did she say I do next? Lol….

  5. School stink, don’t think I ever smelled it but will definitely see if the girls have, hmmmm… now I am very curious. I do love your fritters, am a big cauliflower fan and think those lovelies will be made very soon.

    • Thanks Suzanne! It’s certainy worse in hot weather, socks being the worst methinks. See what you think of your lassies….he he. I am a big fan of veggie fritters, they can be a saving grace when feeding a vegetarian coeliac!!

  6. The stink of learning. I could squish that boy. What a phrase. And what a gobstoppingly gorgeous recipe, Cheergerm! During the last month, I’ve been coming home from the market with these massive five-pound heads of cauliflower, still encased in their leafy green jackets, and I’ve been using every single stitch of that treasure. (And the price is so low, they’re practically giving these monsters away – I can’t understand it.)
    So while they’re available, I’m going to snatch up another armful and make your recipe this week. Cannot wait, cannot wait, yum I cannot wait.

    • He is squishable at times, chuckle. Those cauliflowers sound magnificent, in season and cheap..hoo ha! The world is your oyster, nay, your cauliflower! I can see you now, a monster cauli under each arm. Soup, fritters, curries, baked, dessert? (Maybe not dessert…) These fritters are really, really good and leftovers heat up beautifully in the oven the next day as well. Hope you get to give them a whirl. 😁

  7. hey Cheery I’m a big veg fitter fan too, must give these a whirl before the cauli season closes for the year. Loved the youtube clip!! I am a bookophile, but the money and space saved with kindle added to the super illumination and resizeable font make it a very attractive proposition except i hate ecookbooks, it just doesn’t work for me

    • Hello Mrs Recipe!! Thanks, you have some lovely fritter recipes yourself. These are rather good. Yes, not long now and bye bye cauli! Glad you enjoyed that clip, very funny. The kindle is so very economical and handy but hear hear! It will never replace cookbooks, and in my opinion, children’s books or the book that you love to the point of distraction and must own for your shelf. 😊

  8. How fabulous – the stink of learning! πŸ˜€ I know ‘the stink’ well cheergerm! It shows up in the car 5 days a week at 3pm.
    I’ve not had much luck making fritters in the past, always seem to end up with a sloppy inedible mess… but these of yours look fabulous, with a flavour that I’m sure makes them very moreish!

    • Haha..we almost need a portable decontamination chamber that they can walk through to get into the car! Thanks Margot. ☺️ I have found the more eggs in fritters the better. I have had one or two flops when trialling different gluten free flours. 😁

    • Thanks so much! Hope you get to them, so many recipes so little time. 😁 ps I love your Secret Ingredient Box and that you give a portion to charity. Beautiful.

  9. The memory of that schoolboy stink has wafted back to me through the mists of time. It makes sense if you remember that boys are made of ‘slugs and snails and puppy dog tails’.
    Like Susanne, I can’t believe that I’m finally hip. We all love cauliflower at our place.

    • Everything really does come full circle, even cauliflower. Yes, although I have smelt girls after school and they smell very similar. Although I believe adolescent boys rooms are something else again. I can wait for that particular slugs and snail smell. Yoiks.

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