Celebrating the delights of good healthy everyday food and special treats! Sharing recipes, information, and experiences.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Recipe for Indian Flavored Squash Fritters-Daring Cooks

This recipe resulted from the monthly challenge from the Daring Kitchen.  The Daring Cooks' February 2012 challenge was hosted by Audax and Lis and they chose to present Patties for their ease of construction, ingredients, and deliciousness!  We were given several recipes, and learned the different types of binders and cooking methods to produce our own tasty patties.

Sometimes the challenges are very specific.  This one was great because we had a lot of latitude in our recipe. I thought about different kinds of patties all month-I think I had patty paralysis.  But, as is often the case, I just needed to open the fridge to get inspiration. When I saw the acorn squash sitting there, I was over my paralysis and knew what I'd put together-a fritter! 

Microwaving the squash made this a quick to prepare recipe.  If you are reading this blog much, you know I'm on an Indian kick lately.  I think these would turn out just as nice with other seasonings.  Let me know if you try something that turns out really tasty.

Yield: 6 patties
Time: 20 minutes


  • 1 small acorn squash (1 cup mashed)
  • ½ cup cornmeal
  • 1 egg
  • Large pinch kosher salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tsp Garam masala
  • ¼ cup olive oil (enough for shallow layer in frying pan)

  • Prepared chutney (like Major Grey’s)
  • Spiced yogurt (non-fat plain Greek yogurt mixed with garam masala)

  • Slice squash in half and remove seeds and stringy bits.
  • Wrap loosely in parchment paper and microwave for 8-10 minutes until steaming and soft.
  • Let cool and then scrape out cooked squash, discarding skin.
  • Mix squash, salt and pepper, egg, garam masala, and cornmeal together.
  • Heat olive oil over med-high heat.
  • When oil is hot, drop 1/6th  of mixture into oil and flatten; repeat with remaining mixture (but don’t overfill pan-cook in two batches).
  • Cook about 3 minutes per side until warmed through and crispy on outside.
  • Drain briefly on paper towels and serve hot (with chutney and/or spiced yogurt if desired).
This is an acorn squash
These are the insides that you discard

Pan frying

Other Daring Cooks challenges I've participated in:
Tea Challenge

Char Sui Bao Challenge

Here is some interesting reading about patties that our hosts provided.

Technically patties are flatten discs of ingredients held together by (added) binders (usually eggs, flour or breadcrumbs) usually coated in breadcrumbs (or flour) then fried (and sometime baked). Burgers, rissoles, croquettes, fritters, and rösti are types of patties as well.
Irish chef Patrick "Patty" Seedhouse is said to have come up with the original concept and term as we know it today with his first production of burgers utilizing steamed meat pattys - the pattys were "packed and patted down" (and called pattys for short) in order to shape a flattened disc that would enflame with juices once steamed.
The binding of the ingredients in patties follows a couple of simple recipes (there is some overlap in the categories below)

Patties – patties are ingredients bound together and shaped as a disc.

Rissoles and croquettes – use egg with breadcrumbs as the binder, typical usage for 500 grams (1 lb) of filling ingredients is 1 egg with ½ cup of breadcrumbs (sometimes flour, cooked grains, nuts and bran can be used instead of the breadcrumbs). Some meat patties use no added binders in them they rely on the protein strands within the meat to bind the patty together. Vegetarian and vegan patties may use mashed vegetables, mashed beans, grains, nuts and seeds to bind the patty. Generally croquettes are crumbed (breaded) patties which are shallow- or deep-fried. Rissoles are not usually crumbed (but can be) and are pan- or shallow-fried. Most rissoles and croquettes can be baked. (Examples are all-meat patties, hamburgers, meat rissoles, meatloaves, meatballs, tuna fish and rice patties, salmon and potato rissoles, most vegetable patties.)

Wet Fritters – use flour, eggs and milk as the binder, typical usage for 500 grams (1 lb) of filling ingredients is 2 cups flour, 1 egg with 1 cup of milk and are usually deep-fried and sometimes pan-fried (examples deep fried apple fritters, potato fritters, some vegetable fritters, hushpuppies)

Dry Fritters – use eggs and (some) flour as the binder, typical usage for 500 grams (1 lb) of filling ingredients is 1 to 2 eggs and (usually) some 2 to 8 tablespoons of flour (but sometimes no flour) and are pan- or shallow- fried. (examples most vegetable patties like zucchini fritters, Thai fish cakes, crab cakes, NZ whitebait fritters)

Röstis – use eggs (sometimes with a little flour) as the binder for the grated potato, carrot and other root vegetables, typical usage for 500 grams (1 lb) of filling ingredients is one egg yolk (potato rösti).
Sautéing, stir frying, pan frying, shallow frying, and deep frying use different amounts fat to cook the food. Sautéing uses the least amount of oil (a few teaspoons) while deep frying uses (many many cups) the most oil. The oil helps lubricate (sometimes adds flavour) the food being fried so it will not stick to the pan and helps transfer heat to the food being cooked.
In particular, as a form of cooking patties, pan- and shallow-frying relies on oil of the correct temperature to seal the surface (so retaining moisture) and to heat the interior ingredients (so binding them together) so cooking the patty. The exposed topside of the patty while cooking allows, unlike deep frying, some moisture loss and contact with the pan bottom with the patty creates greater browning on the contact surface that is the crust of the patty is browned and the interior is cooked by pan- and shallow-frying. Because the food is only being cooked on one side while being pan- or shallow-fried, the food must be flipped at least once to totally cook the patty.