Monday, August 17, 2009

Indian-Style Zucchini Patties with Tamarind Chutney

I'm back! Finally! Things have been pretty hectic this summer since I'm commuting home every weekend from my internship. The little time I've had on the weekends does not want to be spent cooking. So although I neglected my kitchen (and my blog) for a few weeks, last weekend, a sudden cooking urge came over me. So I threw on the old apron (yes, I wear one-I spill A LOT) and got to work. First, I noticed that the majority of the recipes on this site are desserts. Anyone else notice that? Although desserts do make a hefty portion of my diet (chocolate IS a food group, no?), I felt the need to prove to the world or at least all my readers ( all 11 of you) that yes, I do eat other things -- actual non-desserts. Since I've been missing my mom's cooking, I planned a big fat Indian menu and gave myself the whole weekend to make them. Of course I was fooling myself because 2 days is definitely not enough time to prepare all the dishes I had in mind (or at least not enough time for someone as inefficient as I sometimes am in the kitchen). I literally finished cooking at 10pm on Sunday night, right before I took a nap on the kitchen counter.
So here is Part I of my Indian menu: Indian Style Zucchini Patties with Tamarind Chutney. In Bengali, these are called 'chops' (pronounced chawps) and they are usually deep fried in oil. Sorry to mess with tradition, but something was calling me to try baking these. So I made up a batch of the patties, baked half of them (the ones in the photo are baked), and fried the rest. Both were very tasty. Of course the fried ones were a bit more indulgent, but the baked ones were just as satisfying.

Indian-Style Zucchini Patties (makes about 10 patties)

  • 3 medium zucchini, grated and drain (drain by wrapping grated zucchini in paper towels and squeezing out the excess water)
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper (add less if you can't handle the heat)
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 + 1/4 cup fresh breadcrumbs, divided
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 Tb cornstarch
  • oil for frying or baking (I used canola for frying, olive for baking)
1. Mix the grated zucchini, red pepper, cumin, cinnamon, coriander, salt, pepper, and 1/4 cup of breadcrumbs in one bowl.
2. Mix the 1/4 cup water and cornstarch in a separate bowl.
3. Form the zucchini mixture into small patties (about 1 heaping tablespoon each). Dip each pattie into the cornstarch mixture, then into the remaining 1 cup of breadcrumbs.
4. If baking: Generously (really generously -- I didn't put enough oil, and got some major pan stuckage) grease a large baking sheet. Gently brush both sides of each pattie with olive oil. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes, or until the tops are browned. Then, flip each pattie over, and bake again for an additional 10 minutes.
5. If frying: Fry in oil about 2 minutes on each side or until browned.

Tamarind Chutney (makes about 1 cup)
  • 1/4 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 Tb tamarind paste (available in International Markets)
  • 3 1/2 cup water
  • 2 Tb tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 3/4 tsp red pepper
Fry the cumin seeds in a bit of oil. Add water and tamarind paste, and cook for about 45 min, until mixture is reduced to about 1 cup. Add the tomato paste, sugar, cumin, and red pepper. Mix well until all is dissolved.

I am submitting this recipe for Weekend Herb Blogging hosted by Prof. Kitty at The Cabinet of Prof. Kitty. Checkout the lovely photos of her garden!


  1. Oh finally a new post! You need to forget about your internship and work on your real job --giving me new recipes. :) Baked chawps?? hmmmmm...Who would have thought?? Very inventive.

  2. I love zucchini patties! Veggies always taste so much better fried! I love the variation with the Indian flavors though. YUM!

  3. These look delicious! What else could you use as a sauce? I have tons of zucchini, but no tamarind (and not a lot of funds to get some). Any ideas?

    Thanks for the recipe!


  4. Hi all! Thanks for the very nice comments. Kristilyn, you can try a raita (it's a Indian sauce made with yogurt). There are many recipes on the web, and there will be one here within the next week (I made some last weekend). :)

  5. These look delicious - a great way to use up all of that excess zucchini in the amrket right now.

  6. Looks so good. I love the chutney as well.

  7. When you say "red pepper," do you mean red pepper flakes or is there red pepper in powder form? Kisses, M

  8. Hi all! Thanks for the very nice comments. MCF: I used crushed red pepper (flakes), but I am sure you can use chilli powder as well, maybe just a bit less than the amount called for in the recipe.

  9. i love this chutney! can't wait to try your version. i've got the tamarind (in it's raw form shells and all)