Zucchini blossoms, pumpkin flowers, summer squash blooms - whichever blossoms, the end fritter is a beloved Bengali delicacy. The preparation for fried zucchini blossoms at my grandmother's household was simple. She made a thick creamy batter of chickpea flour, some water, salt, and a dash of chili or turmeric. My grandmother then dipped the flowers in batter, and shallow fried them till they were crispy pakoras. They were devoured in seconds.
While I love the original, I prefer to make my zucchini flower fritters a bit more delicate, and more tempura-like: light on the coating, and heavy on the crisp. Here's my recipe that I've developed over the years to make the most crispy and translucent zucchini blossom fritters. Be warned - these disappear fast, and are best freshly made.
Crispy Zucchini & Pumpkin Blossom Tempura
Serves 4; 30 min cook time
- 16 zucchini or pumpkin flowers
- 1 medium (or large) egg
- 1 cup 00 flour (preferred, also known as doppio zero flour)
- 1 cup ice-cold sparkling water
- Kosher salt
- Pinch of sumac, optional; can also add a pinch of turmeric and chili powder for a more traditional flavor
- Sunflower or safflower oil for frying
- Large heavy-bottomed pan (cast iron works well)
- Medium-sized mixing bowl
- Paper towels
Fill a large, heavy-bottomed pan with a generous amount of sunflower or safflower oil. Heat the oil to 350 degrees (the oil is hot enough when a small bit of bread turns golden in ten seconds).
In a medium-sized bowl, mix the egg with the flour. Then slowly add the ice-cold sparkling water, whisking constantly. You want the consistency of light cream. Add a good pinch of kosher salt and sumac powder (or turmeric and chili powder), and give it a quick whisk.
Holding the squash blossoms by the stem, dip the flowers into the tempura batter. Working in batches, remove the flowers from the batter, and shallow fry them in the hot oil. Fry for two minutes on each side, until the flowers are golden and crispy.
Drain the blossoms on paper towels to absorb the excess oil, and give them a good sprinkling of kosher salt or fine sea salt. Serve immediately.
If you try the recipe, share on Instagram by using the hashtag #afsanaliza & tagging me at @afsana_liza so I can see!