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
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.
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.