I made some fritters for dinner Friday evening to go along with some leftover soup. I had 1 zucchini, and 2 yellow crookneck squashes. I considered several different ideas before I stopped at Ijja (the Arabic name for these fritters – and also the word for omelet). I didn’t need to consider anything else after that, because, YUM, fritters!
This is a Levantine version, which doesn’t use cheese, unlike some other Mediterranean versions. Cheese is a tasty addition to zucchini fritters, but I wanted a spiced cheese-less one tonight.
You can use any summer-type of squash for this recipe, whether zucchini, pattypan, marrow, etc. You don’t need to peel them, just scrub away any dirt or rough spots. The important thing is to grate whatever squash you use uniformly, and give it a good salting to draw out any excess liquid.
You could grate them by hand, and finely chop the parsley. To make things easier on myself, I used the grater disk in my food processor, and sent the veggies down the chute, first the squashes, then the onion, then the parsley (kind of balled up to make them more a solid entity for grating). I then dumped them into a bowl, to continue the recipe.
Zucchini/Summer Squash Fritters – ijja
3 medium-sized summer-type squash, grated
1 cup parsley, finely chopped
1 onion, grated or very finely chopped (can use the equivalent of chopped whole green onions)
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon madras curry powder or cumin (or half/half)
½ teaspoon garam masala
½ teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon dried mint
3 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Place squashes, onions, and parsley in a bowl.
Add salt and let stand half an hour. The veggies should release liquid.
Squeeze the veggies, draining out as much liquid as possible. Pat down with paper towels, if needed.
The volume will be reduced.
Add eggs. Mix.
Add flour, spices, mint, and baking powder. Mix to form a batter.
Heat about an inch of cooking oil over medium-high heat.
Drop batter by rounded tablespoon-fulls into hot oil.
Cook 1-2 minutes each side, until golden brown.
Serve with salad and yogurt, or as an accompaniment to a small meal. You could also serve with a dip or chutney.