Friday, 27 December 2013

Fried Zucchini with a Garlic Yoghurt Dip

Fried Zucchini with a Garlic Yoghurt Dip

As mentioned in my Balkan Food 101 post, veggie food is hard to come by in Eastern Europe. Its practically a social stigma. I first tried this zucchini dish on a camp in Serbia in 2010. One evening, the scattering of vegetarians among our group were served battered, deep fried zucchini (courgette). I stared down at the plate, disappointed at the greasy, saggy, battered things which lay before me. I pictured the disgruntled chef, cursing at us under her breath as she was told she would need to cater for vegetarians. In her bitter, meat-loving ways she had probably resolved to fight fire with fire by making our lives miserable. Chopping a few zucchinis (or courgettes in the UK) and frying them in batter requires so little effort that I was convinced the carnivores had it in for us. Of course, I was wrong. It turns out that this is a very popular dish in some areas of Eastern Europe, including Serbia and Bulgaria. And for good reason; they are cheap to make, ready in minutes, and utterly delectable!

Fried Zucchini with Garlic Yoghurt Dip

Maybe I'm the only one, but in the same way that most of us have experienced the onlsaught of sudden cravings for sweets or chocolate, I sometimes have a 'vegetable tooth', as it were. Not for salad, but cooked vegetables. Haha, don't tisk at me, I'm not talking out of my hat; I know someone out there will sympathise. Anyway, this fried/grilled zucchini is my quick and easy solution to satiate those cravings.

I've come up with a quicker and healthier version of the ones I ate abroad. The dip takes half a minute to get ready, and there's no batter; the zucchini is simply tossed in flour before frying/grilling. These are good for lunch, as an entree or side to match with steak or fish.

Fried Zucchini with Garlic Yoghurt Dip

Serves 1-2


1 large zucchini/courgette
2 tbsp flour, seasoned with salt and pepper (If gluten-free, use gf flour as I did here, or leave it out completely)
Olive oil, for frying


1/2 garlic clove
Large pinch of salt and pepper
1/2 cup greek yoghurt
Fresh or dried mint, oregano or basil (optional)

1. Slice zucchini/courgette thinly lengthways. Spread seasoned flour onto a plate, and lightly coat zucchini in flour.

2. On a medium-high heat, shallow-fry zucchini in olive oil for around 3 minutes on each side, or until tender. If grilling, cook for 4-5 minutes on each side, until charred. Test with a fork to see if they're done to your taste.

3. While the zucchini is frying, make the dip: Crush garlic together with salt (I do this with a pestle and mortar). Mix in yoghurt, seasoning, herbs and a drizzle of olive oil.

Serve immediately!

1 comment:

  1. Loved this recipe!! Nice for a light lunch; goes well with fresh chopped tomatoes.


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