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Rediff.com  » Getahead » Food » Recipe: Gilki Fritters, Garlic Dip

Recipe: Gilki Fritters, Garlic Dip

By Chef SABYASACHI GORAI
September 19, 2022 13:14 IST
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Crispy Zucchini Fritters, served with a zesty Garlic Herb Dipping Sauce, is a tiffin-friendly recipe by Chef Sabyasachi Gorai for kids and adults alike; nutritious to boot.

Or serve as starters for your guests with drinks -- the dip will be a hot favourite.

Instead of zucchini, which is a squash, you could consider using an Indian sponge gourd, like a firm non-ridged, seedless turai or gilki.

Chef Gorai, who is known as Chef Sabya by his colleagues and friends, and hails from Asansol, West Bengal, was once asked which dish he likes cooking the best? His reply was very chef-like: 'I cook anything as long as my guest loves it'.

Photographs: Kind courtesy California Walnuts

Zucchini Fritters With Garlic Dipping Sauce

Serves: 3-4

Ingredients

  • 680 gm zucchini, grated, skin on (or substitute with firm, smooth, seedless sponge gourd like turai or gilki)
  • 1 tsp kosher salt or a granular salt like sea salt
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup maida or all-purpose flour (substitute with chickpea flour for a gluten-free recipe)
  • 3 tbsp very finely chopped walnuts
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ¾ tsp ground dhania or coriander
  • ½ tsp ground jeera or cumin
  • ½ tsp black pepper powder
  • Zest of 1 lime and reserve juice for the dipping sauce
  • 2 tbsp or more extra virgin olive oil for cooking
  • Wedge of lemon, for serving
  • Green pea shoots or any other sprouts, for garnish

For the creamy garlic herb sauce

  • 1/3 cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt
  • 2 tbsp mayonnaise (Chef Sabya prefers avocado oil mayo, available in gourmet grocery stores and online)
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh chives
  • 1 tbsp chopped dill
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 garlic pod, grated
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt or a granular salt like sea salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper powder
  • 1 stalk spring onion, chopped, for garnish

Method

  • Add ½ tsp of the salt to the shredded zucchini in a colander over a bowl and mix.
    Allow it to drain for 15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the sauce by combining the yogurt, mayonnaise, chives, dill, lime juice, garlic, salt, pepper in a medium-sized bowl.
    Whisk to combine.
    Garnish with the chopped spring onion and keep aside till fritters are ready.
  • Wrap the zucchini tightly in a thin cloth or cheesecloth and squeeze out as much water as possible -- the volume should shrink to about half the original.
  • Transfer the squeezed zucchini into a large mixing bowl and add the egg, flour, walnuts, baking powder, coriander, cumin, black pepper, lemon zest, and ¼ tsp salt.
    Mix well.
  • Heat the oil in a large skillet or non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat and once it starts shimmering, pour in the batter to make two small fritters using 1 tbsp for each fritter, spaced several inches apart.
    Use the back of the spatula to lightly flatten the fritters as they cook, until they are about ¼ inch thick.
    Fry until golden-brown on one side, for about 2 minutes, then gently flip and fry again until golden on the other side.
    Drain the fritters from the pan and transfer to a wire rack.
  • Repeat for the remaining batter, adding more oil to the pan as needed.
  • Before serving sprinkle fritters with the remaining ¼ tsp salt.
    Serve warm, garnished with sprouts, along with the dipping sauce and a lemon wedge.

Chef Sabya's Note: To store, place leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate for 3 days.
Store the sauce separately in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Fritters are best reheated in a skillet or an air fryer.
To reheat in a skillet, add 1-2 tsp extra virgin olive oil to a nonstick skillet and warm over medium heat until warmed through. Alternatively, reheat in the air fryer at 350ºF until warm.

Editor's Note: For vegan fritters, simply skip the egg and up the quantity of flour.

If you desire more spice, add a dash of Tabasco. A little grated ginger might work well too.

For low-sodium fritters, skip the baking powder and reduce salt.

Omit the spring onions and garlic for a Jain version of the dipping sauce.

 

Chef Sabyasachi Gorai is a consultant chef and mentor.

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Chef SABYASACHI GORAI