2 tsp vegetable or canola oil , plus more for deep-frying
1 Cup gram flour (chickpea)
1 tsp Cumin Seed , lightly crushed
1 tsp Coriander Seed , lightly crushed
½ tsp Cayenne Pepper
½ tsp minced garlic
½ tsp Salt
¼ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp Ajowan Seed, lightly crushed (optional)
1 Cup water (approximately)
1 lb mixed vegetables, trimmed and cut into bite-size pieces (such as cauliflower, zucchini, shiitake mushrooms, onion, and/or green beans)
chutney, for serving
Pour oil to a depth of 3 to 4 inches into a deep-fryer or a large, heavy saucepan and heat over medium-high heat to 350F. (The oil should come no more than halfway up the sides of the pan.) While the oil is heating, prepare the batter.
Combine the flour, 2 tsp oil, cumin, coriander, cayenne, garlic, salt, baking powder, and ajowan (if using) in a medium bowl. Gradually add enough water to spice/flour mixture to produce a batter of coating consistency.
Working in batches, dip the vegetable pieces into the batter, letting the excess batter drip back into the bowl, then carefully lower the coated vegetables into the hot oil.
Do not crowd the pan.
Fry veggies until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes.
Remove the fritters from the oil with tongs or a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
Continue battering and frying the remaining vegetables, allowing the oil to reheat between batches as needed.
Arrange the fritters on a warmed platter and serve immediately with chutney alongside for dipping.