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IMG_6004I happen to be blessed with a Mom who always happens to ask me at the very opportune moment, when my stash of veggies run out making a grocery trip eminent, whether I need some veggies at the market. Bless me Mom, but sometimes she catches me at a time when I have yet to even think about what I want to cook.

This time I said ‘Some zucchini maybe?’ For my raw food experimentation purposes I could hone my skills at making Zucchini Hummus (the last time I made it was a flop but had a really tasty one at a recent raw food event) or making a Cheezy Zucchini Sauce as an accompaniment to veggie burgers or baked chips.

But no, I love changing my mind according to my mood and disposition according to the day, and I decide I want to actually eat the zucchini rather than have it as a raw accompaniment.

It’s not all the time when you Google two ingredients and land at a 1. super appetizing food image 2. vegan recipe 3. simple with few ingredients 4. ingredient proportions that are easy to memorise. And I mean at the same time. Add to that a *gluten-free* bonus for those avoiding wheat.

These Zucchini, Corn and Mint Fritters call for equal amounts of grated zucchini, corn and chickpea flour, and scallions and mint leaves in three quarts the amount. I think the recipe imprinted itself on my brain faster than I could even think to remember it. I like its minimalist nature and how the recipe is everything promised in the title with just chickpea flour to bind and hold everything together.   

All hail Besan!
I’ve been using besan quite a lot recently to understand that it works very well with savory tastes, adding something of a notch up in flavor without needing very much spice at all. If you wonder why Murukku or pakoras taste so damn addictingly good, its the besan (okay, apart from the spices and deep-frying) that elevates the taste of the batter. So much so that now when you make vegan omelette or these fritters, you relive the tasty sinful deep-fried aromas associated with those besan snacks without the need to actually consume all that artery-clogging oil.

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I totally recommend following the recipe as is but I did make a few changes to my convenience. It is a flexible recipe that lends well to adaptations so much so that you may well end up making several variations every time you make them according to what you have on hand. Splendid!

Zucchini Corn Fritters with Basil & Cashew Sourcream  (credits to The Kind Cook)
IMG_5995 IMG_6000What I used (for 3 servings):

  • 1/2 a zucchini, grated
  • 1 fresh corn, shucked
  • 1/2 med onion, finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup besan/chickpea flour
  • 1 generous handful of fresh basil (or any other herb you have/like), chopped finely or in shreds
  • 1-2 cloves, garlic, minced (optional)
  • salt, pepper,
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp chilli powder (optional, for heat)

How to make:

1. In a bowl, add grated zucchini, corn kernels, onion, garlic and herbs. Add the besan, salt, pepper and chilli powder (I added about 1/4 tsp). Mix using a fork breaking down any lumps from the besan. The mix might seem a little dry but incorporate everything.

2. Loosen the batter just a bit by adding a little bit of water. The ingredients won’t be swimming in batter. The batter will just be there to bind the ingredients together. You want a consistency that is loose enough for scooping with a spoon, yet you don’t want to batter to become watery and leak as you fry them in the pan.

3. Preheat a skillet, oiling generously. Now besan flour likes to stick! So outsmart it, make sure to oil your pan with more than just a few drops and turn on the heat to high. Make sure the pan is pretty darn hot, scoop some batter in and distribute slightly to get a nicely shaped patty. And wait.

4. Monitor the heat. I use an electric stove with heat setting from 1 – 9. I preheat and cooked at 7 – 8. Then turn down to 6 if the fritters are browning too quickly for the middle to set. The sides will start to dry up and take on a brown crispiness. So carefully flip them with a spatula. Again, I find besan batters tend to stick more so the fritters might seem a little resistant but as long as the side is cooked through and properly brown and crisp they should not cling.

*Optional for moist fluffy fritters: cover the pan. This makes them soft and fluffy, just like when you make pancakes! Besan pancakes/fritters tend to get tough and chewy if left to sit for a while so definitely enjoy these hot and straight out of the pan if possible.

Cashew Sourcream (credits to Meredone)

I had my Zucchini Corn Fritters with a delicious Cashew Sourcream consisting of soaked cashews, lemon juice, some EVOO, apple cider vinegar and garlic. I make it as per the recipe for a stiffer consistency for sandwich spreads, but for this added more water and a bit more of the seasonings to get a dollopy consistency.

This is delicious on baked things like sweet potato fries, tandoori vegetables, spicy baked veggie-balls, for plain chips… anything you could possibly need a cool, luscious, creamy and fresh-tasting dip/sauce for.

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Num num. Yum, yum. Enjoy!