This Indonesian sweetcorn fritters recipe with chilli and tomato sambal comes from Petty Pandean-Elliot's book The Indonesian Table (£24.95, Phaidon Press).

Petty says: "Traditionally, the fritters are made with fresh sweetcorn on the cob but you can substitute canned or frozen sweetcorn as long as you drain all the water."

This is a recipe that Petty shared as part of her guide to Indonesian cuisine. Check it out to learn more about the flavours that are popular in this jewel of South East Asia, including Nasi goreng ayam and Indonesian pandan, raspberry and white chocolate blondies.


  • 250g sweetcorn kernels
  • 3 makrut lime leaves, stems removed, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated
  • 2 spring onions, finely chopped
  • 1-2 red bird's eye chillies, finely chopped
  • 1 long shallot, finely chopped
  • 6 tbsp rice flour
  • 4 tbsp cornflour
  • ½ tsp white pepper
  • 500ml sunflower oil, for deep-frying

Chilli and tomato sambal

  • 3 green or red tomatoes, chopped
  • 2-3 red bird's eye chillies, thinly sliced
  • 1 long shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil or extra-virgin olive oil, warmed
  • juice of 2 limes


  • STEP 1

    To make the sambal, put all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Season with ¼ tsp of salt and add a pinch of sugar, if you like. Serve immediately or transfer to an airtight container and top with oil – it will keep in the fridge for two to three days.

  • STEP 2

    For the fritters, if using canned sweetcorn, drain well and squeeze out as much water as possible from the kernels. Transfer the sweetcorn to a food processor and blend for 10 seconds into a coarse purée.

  • STEP 3

    Put the sweetcorn, lime leaves, garlic, spring onions, chillies and shallot in a large bowl, and mix well. Stir in the rice flour and cornflour. Season with ½ tsp of salt and the white pepper. The batter should be thick but easy to mix – if needed, add 2-3 tbsp of cold water to thin it out slightly.

  • STEP 4

    Heat the oil in a wok or deep pan over a medium heat. The oil is ready when a cube of bread dropped in sizzles on contact and turns golden in 10-15 seconds. Alternatively, use a thermometer and heat to 180C.

  • STEP 5

    Scoop a tablespoon of the mixture and flatten it slightly into a patty. Repeat with the remaining mixture. Carefully lower five or six fritters into the pan and deep-fry for 2-3 mins on each side or until golden brown. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cooked fritters to a plate lined with kitchen paper. Repeat with the remaining fritters. Put the fritters on a serving dish and serve with the sambal.

Discover more delicious sweetcorn recipes.

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Goes well with


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