If I ever write a book, it just might be titled “101 Ways to Prepare Zucchini”. If you do a search for zucchini —–> there are a startling number of entries. But I haven’t yet combined my fondness for Indian food with my zucchini obsession. I am pretty sure this is not an authentic Indian dish, but it worked for me. I started with this recipe for Indian meatballs, and then made it my own.
Normally, you’d expect an item named “fritter” to be deep fried. But you probably already guessed that I baked these. If you really want that crispy coating, go ahead and fry them, I am sure they’d be great. The batter is very delicate though, so just be careful and handle them gently no matter which method you use.
There’s no doubt about it, the fritters are spicy! They would be fantastic tucked into a fresh piece of naan, and the bread could be used to scoop up the tomato based sauce as well. Since I didn’t have any naan, I packed these fritters into lunches on a bed of brown rice, with some plain yogurt on the side to help tame the heat. It’s a great dish, packed with vegetables and spice, and just one more way to use up that zucchini.
Indian Spiced Zucchini Fritters in Tomato Sauce
3 medium or 2 large zucchini, shredded
1 jalapeno pepper, minced
2 large onions, minced and divided
1/2 t ground ginger
1/3 c. whole wheat flour
2 T olive oil, divided
1/4 t turmeric
Dash cayenne pepper
1 t ground cumin
2 t ground coriander
1 (14 oz.) can petite diced tomatoes
1/2 t garam masala
Salt to taste
1. Place shredded zucchini in a strainer over a bowl and press with a fork. Allow to sit for 30 minutes, occasionally tossing with a fork. Be sure to reserve liquid for a later step.
2. Mix drained zucchini with jalapeno pepper, 1/4 c. minced onion, ground ginger, and whole wheat flour. Form into 12-15 balls. Pour 1 T olive oil on a baking sheet. Gently roll zucchini balls in oil, and bake at 350F for 30 minutes, turning once.
3. Heat remaining 1 T olive oil in a large frying pan, and add remaining minced onion to pan. Cook on medium high heat for 15-20 minutes until onions are well browned. Add turmeric, cayenne, cumin, and coriander and mix well. Add tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes. Add 1 c. reserved liquid from zucchini, adding water if you do not have a full cup. Cover pan, and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove cover and add garam masala and salt to taste.
4. Add zucchini fritters to the pan gently, and cover the pan. Heat on low for 5-10 minutes.
-Adapted from Madhur Jaffrey “World of the East Vegetarian Cookbook”