Thursday, August 13, 2009

Zucchini Snack Attack

Before I get to the recipe, I wanted to talk about family - parents and siblings in particular. Mine just left after an all-too-brief visit over the weekend. And I've been completely spoiled! I didn't wash a single dish or lift a finger to clean the house the whole time they were here. No siree, not while Dad the cleaning guru was around. Oh, I'd made a few goodies for them and scoured the house clean before they arrived, but once they got here, I turned into a diva. And God bless 'em, they encourage it. Even the kid brother lent a helping hand now and again, hallelujah! It must have something to do with the old adage, "Absence makes the heart grow fonder". Y'see, my family lives in Canada, so the most I see them is for a few days at a time, maybe twice or thrice a year. So when we do see each other, we try and cram as much affection and general family-togetherness into the visit as possible. DH also lucks out in a way, because my mom dotes on him, and weirdly enough, takes his side over mine on most matters. Don't ask me, I've no idea what that's all about! Although, if I had to guess, me thinks it boils down to the Pakistani tradition and culture, where the son-in-law is treated like royalty. Or it could simply be that DH has a way with older women, which he definitely does. Either way, we both get spoiled as a result of the parents visiting. Even Ozzy has more people to play with and hang around (like most kids, erm I mean, kitties, he completely ignores his mommy when there are other people around, ungrateful feline).
A simple, homey feast of a few childhood favorites, courtesy of Mom.

My favorite moments are the ones spent around the dinner table, laughing and giggling over family stories, enjoying tales of my brother's mad adventures, earnestly discussing world issues, all the while digging into a homemade feast, lovingly made by mom. My stove goes into overdrive when my mother is around. Being way more efficient than I am, she can prepare multiple dishes at the same time. Hyderabadi cuisine is her forte, and one that I don't even try to emulate, because really, what's the point?! I only disappoint myself because it never turns out as good as Mom's.

So my strategy is to try and add brand new recipes to my repertoire and make them my personal family favorites. And I think I found another keeper this week. One that I hope to be making several more times this season. Especially when the snacking demon attacks.

Zucchini Pakoras or Pancakes (thanks to the lovely Desiree of Life's Ambrosia for this wonderfully simply recipe. Please visit her site for more nummies.)

Serves 2-3 as a snack/appetizer

Click here for printable recipe

1 large zucchini grated, excess water removed (To do this, after you grate the zucchini, put the grated zucchini into paper towels and squeeze to release the water)
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup panko bread crumbs
Sprinkle of ground nutmeg, about 1/8 teaspoon or less
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1 clove garlic, minced
1 egg
salt and pepper to taste
olive oil for shallow frying

1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl, except olive oil, and mix thoroughly. Using a heaping tablespoon form the mixture into 6-7 patties.

2. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Once heated, add patties and fry until golden brown. About 3-4 minutes per side. You'll need to add more olive oil after the first 3 or 4 patties, because it does get absorbed. Drain on paper towels. Serve hot, while it's still crispy, with sour cream or ketchup or a thick raita.

Mmmmm - frying up to a lovely caramel brown, just the way I like it!

Verdict: One of those jump for joy moments when I put this in my mouth for the first time. Oh man, just crispy and caramelized on the outside, and so tender and chewy on the inside. The zucchini almost tastes like chicken when prepared this way! DH always asks for pakoras on rainy days, and I'm awfully pleased with this new find. It's easy to put together, and hits the spot around that crucial snacking time, around 4-5pm in the afternoon.

I'm also glad I discovered this recipe in time for Ramadan, the fasting month for us Muslims. The days are even longer than last year, so DH and I are gonna need something substantial for when we break the fast at sunset every day. Me thinks this will be a worthy addition to the menu. This isn't a Hyderabadi dish, but I'm from that region and it's going to feature on my Iftar table, so I hope that qualifies me to submit this to Mona's Hyderabadi Ramadan Food Festival.


Deseree said...

I am glad that you enjoyed these. Yours look delicious! :) said...

Lucky you. It's been 2 yrs since I saw my family :(
Wonderful recipe. It's slightly similar to hash browns, but with zuchini and a twist.
Very nice.

The Feathered Nest said...

YUM-O!!!! These look absolutely DELICIOUS!!! I must give them a try ~ my husband loves to cook though so maybe I'll let him give it a go! xxoo, Dawn

Pooja said...

Wow nice to hear that you had great time with your family! The zucchini pakoras look so crispy and delicious!

the twins said...

those look so good, thanks for the recipe!

Anonymous said...

These sound yummy! I love the addition of Parmesan and panko breadcrumbs!

Parita said...

I love to be pampered :) when my parents were visiting here it was the same case, i didnt do anything and my mom and dad took over the kitchen completely :) Zucchini pancakes look delicious, simple to make

Anonymous said...

looks yummy..I have one at my place too.

nandini said...

what an interesting way to eat zuchini.... sure gonna try this.

Sophie Sportende Foodie said...

Lovely zucchini patties!!! It is like rostis!!


Varsha Vipins said...

Did u just say it tastes like chicken???am going to try it this weekend..will get back to ya..!:D
n woah..u had a great time didnt u..:jealous:..that table top looks so so inviting..I guess all mil's are the same,takes side of their sil's..:D

Duchess of Tea said...

I just bought everything I need to make these divine looking zucchini panckages. I will repot to you as to how they turn out. I also added a link to your blog on my beau-TEA-ful friends blog so more bloggers can discover your blog.

Duchess xx

Anonymous said...

Those pancakes look so good! I still have some zucchini left from when I made Fried Zucchini a few days ago so I just might try this recipe of yours today. :-)

Anonymous said...

I didn't wait to make these pancakes. Made them today and you've got 2 thumbs from both me and my son. They were yummy and easy to make.

Muneeba said...

Thks everyone!
Duchess, so kind of you to add my link to your oh-so-pretty page!
Tortadebukura, you rock for making these zucchini pancakes right away ... so glad u AND your son enjoyed them!

Kerstin said...

Yum, what yummy and comforting little zucchini cakes! I'm glad you had a great visit with your family :)

Duchess of Tea said...

I made them!!! They came out fantastic. Thank you darling. Hope you have a sunny day!!

♥ hugs ♥


Kenza said...

Ramadan Moubarak Muneeba ! ;) Kenza

Miss High Heels said...

I think I have a new favourite pancake!

Jennifer said...

Oh my gosh I am making these this weekend, my neighbor just gave me a bunch of Zucchini!

mona said...

Muneeba, what a lovely entry to the event! I came here through the linkback actually. Did you send me a mail, because I haven't received it. Anyways, it definitely qualifies and will be posted in the roundup inshallah. Jazakallah Khairun!

Varsha Vipins said...

Tried this out was yummmmmm..:)
Thanks dear..:)