Spring Vegetable Tempura with Cashew and Chilli Dipping Sauce

This vegan and gluten free batter is light and crunchy; the secret is to use ginger beer! If you don’t have any you can use fizzy water instead.

Ingredients 

8 spears of asparagus

8 stems of broccoli-purple sprouting or Tenderstem-sliced through the middle if it is chunky

8 spring onions 

Tempura batter

100g gram (chick pea) flour

150ml ginger beer 

1/2 tsp turmeric powder

1/4 tsp chilli flakes

Salt and pepper

Dipping sauce

50g cashew nuts, roasted for 10 minutes

1 red chilli, chopped

1 clove of garlic or a handful of wild garlic, chopped 

The juice of a lime

1 tsp brown sugar

2 tbsp water

2 tbsp Tamari (or soy sauce if you aren’t gluten free)

Salt and pepper 

Vegetable oil for frying (200ml)

To serve lime wedges, chopped coriander and chilli

Method

To make the dipping sauce place all of the ingredients in a blender and whizz until it is smooth. Taste and add more salt, pepper, lime or sugar. If the sauce is too thick add a little water or more lime juice until you have a dipping consistency.

Trim the woody ends off the asparagus and broccoli and the roots off the spring onions. Trim the vegetables so that they are about 10cm long. In a deep saucepan heat the oil. Get a plate ready with a few sheets of kitchen pepper for the cooked tempura.

In a large bowl whisk together the batter ingredients; it should look like thick cream; you may need to add a little extra gram flour or ginger beer. Check the oil is hot by dropping a tiny bit of batter in; it should rise to the top of the oil and brown straight away. 

One at a time dip the vegetables into the batter and the straight into the oil. Allow to cook for 2-3 minutes or until the tempura vegetables are golden. Remove with tongs and drain on the kitchen paper.

Repeat until the vegetables are all cooked, you should be able to fit all of each type of vegetable in the oil at one time.

Serve hot with the dipping sauce, lime wedges, chopped coriander and chilli