Sunday, August 11, 2013

Zucchini crab cakes - no they don't have crab meat in them

When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade and a hundred other things and when it gives zucchinis you run to the internet to collect zucchini recipes :-). You see, zucchini is not a native vegetable where I grew up and all I could think of when I saw it was to put it in a standard dal or make a chutney or add them in paddus (think cucumber, bottle gourd, etc) which can get pretty repetitive and boring if you were to finish a seemingly unending supply of fresh zucchinis from the back yard. That is when you learn to appreciate the capabilities of search engines as it brings you pages and pages full of zucchini recipes as soon as you hit the enter button or move your finger on it :-). While I am putting the search results to good use, I will write about the ones we most relished and those that have been added into my standard repertoire.

I found a zucchini crab cake online which is a derivative of the popular recipe from the Chesapeake Bay area which can be either vegetarian or non vegetarian. Typically crab cakes have meat, eggs, mayo and spices and are griddle cooked until crisp on both sides, very similar to Indian tikkis and cutlets. I modified the zucchini crab cake recipe eliminating meat, eggs, mayo, all spice and pretty much everything from the original recipe :-), so what did I preserve? obviously the name (because I liked it), zucchini (that is why I went recipe hunting) and the concept of cooking it on the griddle (very appealing tea time snack). So here you go with a vegetarian reincarnation of zucchini crab cake a.k.a zucchini cutlet.

Take my word when I say these were some of the best tea time snacks I have made/had. Fresh Zucchinis, tender and delicious mixed with a few bites of crunchy onions, spiced with green chilies mixed with bread to give it body and cooked to crispiness on both sides, yumm.. makes your tea taste better.
On another note, I have been going slow on my blog posts and visits to my favorite blogs. Things have been very busy and exciting at home. I will try to post as often as possible until next month but will take pictures and preserve posts for later as I cook. Will catch up normal speed and more chit chat next month.

What do you need to make Zucchini cakes?
3 cups grated zucchini
1 Tblsp finely chopped onion
2 slices of bread
2-3 Tblsp bread crumbs
1-2 green chilies
4-5 sprigs of fresh cilantro
1/2 Tsp salt
2 Tblsp oil
How do you make Zucchini cakes?
  • Wash, remove the ends of zucchini and grate it using the big holes on your grater.
  • Keep the grated zucchini aside for a few minutes, squeeze the water out and take the zucchini gratings into a bowl.
  • Soak the bread slices in water for 30 seconds, squeeze out the water completely and add it to the zucchini.
  • Add the remaining ingredients, mix in. Take a golf ball sized mixture, pat it into a cake (about 1/2 -3/4 inch) and put it on a hot griddle.
  • Drizzle a few drops of oil on top and let it cook on medium heat until the bottom turns a nice brown, flip it over and let it cook on the other side.
  • Enjoy hot zucchini cakes with ketchup, sauce or chutneys.
Notes:
  • Do not squeeze the zucchini completely, a little moisture makes the cakes succulent without being soggy.
  • Measurements given here are approximate and what worked best for me. You can alter the amount of onions and chilies to suit your taste. I used home made wheat bread and had pretty thick slices. Also, adjust the bread crumbs quantity depending on how watery your zucchini is.
  • You can add boiled potatoes or other vegetables but I would strongly recommend retaining zucchini as the focal point. The tender and delicate flavor of zucchini is something you will fall in love with easily and keeps the cake light and healthy.
  • I grate the zucchini without peeling the green outer skin, this not only splashes pretty specks of green in the cake but is also healthier.
  • Cook these cakes on medium heat slowly allowing the raw zucchini and onion to cook.
  • I have added both soaked & squeezed bread which gives body to the cake and dry bread crumbs which helps make the mixture dry and renders crispiness.

7 comments:

Rumana Ambrin said...

Very nice combo...

Anonymous said...

Wonderful... Absolutely agree that this chai time is great creative dish to relish. Good job dear.

Vani said...

I'm excited about your exciting news, whatever that' is :) meant to write when I got your comment last week but couldn't. Anyway, have fun with the exciting stuff. The zucchini patties sound delicious!

Linda said...

Hi Nagashree -- this is a genius use of zucchini; it looks so good and I can't wait to try it! :)

Kaveri Venkatesh said...

Nice name and they look delicious

Priya Suresh said...

Omg, loved ur crab meatless crab cakes, zucchini sounds an excellent veggie to make this crab cake, thanks for sharing.

NamsVeni Pothas said...

very nice recipe and very good taste. very healthy also for old people espicially