From "Raga Cuisine of India" comes another favorite local (to Seattle) restaurant recipe. The book says the same spiced batter could coat shrimp, cubed fish, or strips of chicken to serve as a substantial starter or part of a main course. The batter will thicken the longer it stands, so it's best to coat the vegetables and fry them right after it is made. Be sure to have the vegetables already trimmed and portioned before you begin to mix the batter. Pick a couple of contrasting chutneys--perhaps one spicy, one milder-- to serve with the fritters. Ajwain is a unique spice, related to caraway and cumin but with a flavor more reminiscent of thyme. It's available in Indian markets and specialty spice shops but can also be omitted from the recipe. Gram flour (not to be confused with graham flour) may also be labeled 'besan' or 'chickpea' or 'garbanzo' flour.