Zucchini Bhaji, Gluten-Free Vegan Snacks.

Zucchini Bhaji
Zucchini Bhaji

Here they are again, the summer zucchini growing like triffids, their dazzling yellow flowers opening loudly in the sun, enticing insects to enter, then closing snugly with the tramonto or sunset. Their fruitfulness is always a mixed blessing as most zucchini growers will attest : there are always too many for one household. Catching them while they are discreet in size is part of the game- come back from a weekend away and you’re in for a rude surprise. Big ones sap the energy of the plant, reducing flowering and productivity. The larger zucchini are also rather bland in flavour, a case of bigger not being better! Constant harvesting is wise, as it is with all vegetables. Pick often and be rewarded.

Morning bees busy with cross pollination

Many folk  have a swag of favourite recipes for dealing with their annual zucchini glut, I am sure. I have at least 20 standby recipes and am always looking for more. Throughout summer, we use zucchini in:

  • simple soups,
  • fried and tossed through pasta alla carbonara
  • grated and incorporated into fritters, patties and bhajis
  • combined with cheese into old-fashioned baked slices
  • gutted and refilled with ricotta and baked in the oven
  • pickled with mustard seed
  • grilled to lay on a pizza
  • substituting eggplants in a parmigiana bake
  • vinegared with balsamic and garlic
  • sliced vertically into carpaccio salad
  • fried with their friends the tomatoes to make Provéncal tians and tarts
  • grated into breads, muffins and cakes

They are summer’s green gifts. When their day is done, sometime down the track in Autumn, we say Addio for another year.

Zucchini Bhaji with minted yoghurt

Zucchini Bhaji

These little fried morsels are a cross between an onion bhaji and a vegetable pakhora. They don’t last long, and are often eaten as they exit the wok and don’t make it to the table. This recipe would feed two very greedy people or make snacks for four. It can be doubled for a family- kids love them. Different spices may be used, such as cumin or coriander. The batter needs to be thicker than cream but not too stiff.

  • two medium zucchini, grated
  • 1 onion, finely sliced
  • ¾ cup besan/chick pea flour
  • ¼ cup rice flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teas salt
  • ½ teas garam masala
  • ½ teas chilli powder
  • 1 garlic clove crushed
  • ½ cup or so water
  • plain oil (not olive oil) for frying

Grate the zucchini and leave in a colander, covered with a weight, for 1/2 hour or so. Slice the onion.

Make the batter by mixing the dry ingredients with the water. Also let the batter sit for 1/2 an hour or more, un refrigerated so that the batter begins to ferment a little.

Add the vegetables to the batter and mix well. Add oil to a wok and heat until a bread piece sizzles. Deep frying is recommended as the fritters stick to the pan with shallow frying and tend to retain too much oil. If the temperature of your oil is hot, the bhaji should fry quickly. Turn once or twice using tongs, and then draining on paper towels.

Serve with Podina Chutney if you have an abundant mint supply, or a mint laced yoghurt dressing.

This snack is gluten and lactose free and vegan. Many zucchini recipes, quite by chance, are.

Crisp zucchini bhaji snacks.



26 thoughts on “Zucchini Bhaji, Gluten-Free Vegan Snacks.”

  1. Oh to be a zucchini in your garden!! They look delicious Francesca. Your Cherry and Almond Tart got much attention on Instagram and I posted a link to your blog for the admirers 🙂


  2. Oh thanks Ardys. Your tart and styling looked fabulous. I wonder if I should also do instagram. If I do, I may ask for lessons.
    A big storm is brewing overhead. The zucchini and I are hoping for some rain.


  3. Isn’t it wonderful to have zucchini growing! Same at my place. Love your recipe, Francesa, and the images are lovely too! Incidentally, those mirabella plum seeds that I scattered into my garden are sending up seedlings! If you are ever in Canberra, stop by! xx


  4. Francesca, They look great and if I grew zucchini, I would try it but I am too scared to grow them. They are prolific here and it is near impossible to even give them away, cucumbers are hard enough 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  5. These are very similar to my much loved vegetarian pakora. Not sure why, but this is the 3rd season I’ve not had 1 pumpkin or zucchini develop even with hand pollinating. Miss them sorely. Little ‘Charlie’ arrived 3.30 am this morning!


  6. Yeah, these would disappear like potato chips. They look crispy and tasty. That’s a deadly combination.
    Thank you, by the way, for the triffids reference. IMHO, there are far too few allusions to B horror films in the blogging world. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. LOL… true John re Triffids. I must look for some more B grade horror film descriptions of the zucchini’s growing habits, to distract the young grandsons from making other more phallic allusions.

      Liked by 1 person

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