Guys, I love Indian spices. They will seriously always have my heart. I fell in love with them early on, and I have never looked back. Going to India a few years back was an eye opening culinary experience for me. The Indian food I was eating back home did not compare to the Indian food you get in India. Not even close. In India, it doesn't matter if you buy the food at a hole in the wall shack, on the street from a vendor or in a nice restaurant. The food is always excellent and so, so flavorful. I have tried to recreate many of the favorite dishes I had there, but I have found it nearly impossible, even with the help of one of my favorite cookbooks, "Everyday Indian" by Bal Arneson
So I have decided that although I will never make traditional Indian food, my light riffs on it will do just fine. These fritters taste exactly like pakoras, but they are much lighter, as they aren't deep fried. You could try baking them, but there is something about the crispiness of pakoras that have been fried that make them so much nicer, so I recommend lightly frying these in just a couple tablespoons of coconut oil. I served them with a few slices of lemon, a sprinkle of chopped cilantro and with a peach chutney that I canned this past summer. I don't have a recipe for that, but I imagine these fritters would be lovely with any chutney you use.
Next post is going to be majorly chocolate based, and I will be writing a bit about using stevia to sweeten desserts.
Easy Zucchini Fritters w/ Dairy Free Raita
Note: this makes about 8-10 fritters, depending on the size you make your patties.
4 cups of grated zucchini
1 small onion, peeled, diced and sauteed lightly in olive oil.
2 teaspoons of cumin seeds
1 teaspoon of garam masala
1/2 teaspoon of curry powder
pinch of black pepper
a few pinches of salt
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons of chickpea flour
2 large eggs (you could try flax seed eggs, but I haven't tried this yet), lightly beaten
1/4 teaspoon of chili flakes
Dairy free Raita:
Note: Use regular yogurt if you are not intolerant to dairy.
1 cup of unsweetened coconut yogurt
2 tablespoons of chopped cilantro and/or fresh mint
1 tablespoon of cumin seeds
1 clove of garlic, grated
juice of half a lemon
pinch of paprika
pinch of sea salt
pinch of black pepper
Add all ingredients to a bowl and mix well. Keep chilled until you are going to serve the fritters. The longer the raita sits, the longer the flavor has to develop (I like to leave it to sit for a couple of hours, but it is fine served 15 minutes after it was made too).
Place a strainer or some heavy paper towel over a medium sized bowl. Place zucchini on top and sprinkle some salt on it. Let it sit for about ten minutes or so, until a lot of the water has drained out. Squeeze handfuls of the zucchini and place it in another bowl. Once you have squeezed most of the moisture out and have added all the zucchini to a bowl, add all of the other ingredients, minus the eggs.
Add the eggs to the bowl and mix well so that all of the ingredients are incorporated. Let sit for ten minutes.
While the zucchini mixture is settling, place two tablespoons of a neutral oil in a frying pan (I used a stainless steel pan, but non-stick would work). Start heat on medium and then crank it up a notch when you are ready to put the fritters in.
Make a patty the size of a golf ball (or slightly larger) with your hand (it might be a bit sticky, but it should hold together) and place in the hot oil. Fry for a couple of minutes on each side. You should have a golden, crispy edge on each side. I usually cook two at a time.
Place on a paper towel to wipe off any excess oil. Try not to eat them right away (harder than it sounds), although, they are better when they are still fairly warm.
Place two fritters per plate and place a dollop of the dairy free raita on them. Sprinkle with cilantro, and serve with some chutney and a couple of slices of lemon (I love a squeeze of lemon on them). Enjoy!