Simon Bajada shares the recipe for his anchovy fritters from his new book, Malta.

“At Easter time in the city of Rabat, you can find stalls selling these on every corner. They are similar to the Saint Joseph’s fritters with ricotta, but savoury with an anchovy inside. They are moreish served alongside a cold beer or dry white wine.”


225g (1½ cups) plain (all-purpose) flour
2 teaspoons dried yeast
½ teaspoon salt
180ml warm water
1 litre neutral oil for frying such as sunflower or canola, plus extra for oiling
10 anchovy fillets
Lemon wedges to serve


In a large bowl, combine the flour, yeast and salt with a wooden spoon and make a well in the centre. Gradually add the water to the well, gently mixing until all the flour has been incorporated and you have a sticky dough. Tip onto a floured work bench and knead for a few minutes until you have a smooth dough. Shape into a ball and lightly oil the dough. Return to a the bowl. Cover with a tea towel and set aside in a warm place to prove for one hour, or until the dough has doubled in size.

Begin to gently heat the oil in a heavy-based saucepan. Lightly flour your hands and divide the dough into 10 pieces. Take a lump of dough and gently stretch it to an oval shape. Lay an anchovy in the centre and close the dough around it. Lower the fritter into the hot oil while you quickly make a few more fritters to cook at the same time. Flip the fritters over once and cook until golden brown (around two-and-a-half minutes). Scoop onto paper towel. Check the fritters are cooked through by eating the first one. Continue to make and cook the remaining fritters. Serve with lemon wedges.

Simon Bajada’s Malta (published by Hardie Grant Books, RRP $45) is available now from great Victorian booksellers such as Hill of Content and Readings.