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How to Make Vegan Zucchini Corn Fritters. I really love fritters. All kinds. Savoury ones made with mashed potato and spinach. Sweet ones, like chunks of apple dipped in batter and fried. I used to love (cringe) spam fritters, in my non-vegan days. And also mushy pea fritters. I will admit to never having met a fritter that I do not like yet.
But I do have a preference, and that’s a fritter not dipped and fried in batter. I find batter can make things a bit too heavy, a bit too greasy, and I can’t eat as many as I would like. I admit it, I like to sit and eat a plate of fritters, and the grease holds me back from doing this.
How do you make Vegan Zucchini Corn Fritters?
So, I like to make a lighter fritter, and that means only the smallest amount of flour that I can get away with (purely for binding a sticky batter), and the best flour I have found for that purpose is chickpea flour, also known as gram flour. What makes chickpea flour so effective is that it doesn’t have a “floury” taste, unlike wheat flour, or cornflour. It adds a savoury element to fritters and can be used in pancake batter too. Furthermore, my recipe for zucchini and corn fritters are not only vegan, but gluten free too!
I first found this recipe in a wonderful little cookbook called Buddhist Peace Recipes, by Indian academic and food critic, Pushpesh Pant, and I was immediately taken by the elegant, gentle flavours.
The recipe uses few ingredients, but it uses them well. The courgette/zucchini is lightly sauteed with onion and garlic and dried coriander, and then this heady mixture is stirred into coconut, ground almonds, fresh coriander, bound together with the gram flour.
I have suggested that you refrigerate this mixture for at least half an hour before you fry your fritters. The batter is quite sticky, courgette tends to exude a lot of water, and when this is mixed with the flour, it makes its own batter. The colder this mixture is, the easier it is to form and handle, but even so, work as quickly as you can. If you must, lightly dust your hands with some more gram flour, but not too much.
The chilli is optional, but adds a gentle warmth to fritters, and you can, of course, deseed them first. If you don’t like fresh coriander, then add some fresh parsley. It’s a fresh, vibrant herbaceous hit that works well here, and it’s the next best thing.
Omit the ground almonds if you have a nut-intolerance, and simply add some more coconut in its place. What makes this recipe so good (aside from the flavour, of course), is that you can adapt it to suit your own flavours. I even made it Fodmap for my mum, by removing the onion and garlic, and replacing that with spring onion greens. She was very happy with the fritters!
Zucchini or Courgette? What’s in a name?
Do you say Courgette or do you say Zucchini? The name Zucchini is used in the USA, Australia and Asia, and comes from the Italian for marrow, Zucca.
In Britain and parts of Europe, we say Courgette, which comes from the French for gourd or marrow, Courge. Both names make perfect sense, and I don’t think there’s an argument for preference over either word!
What do you think? I like both, and I say Courgette because I am British; however, I think that Zucchini is a fun word, and I love the Italian history behind it.
Are These Zucchini Courgette Corn Fritters Gluten Free?
Yes! They are naturally gluten free because they use ground almonds and gram flour, both of which are gluten free.
Easy Vegan Sweetcorn and Courgette (Zucchini) Fritters
- Mixing Bowl
- Frying Pan
- Mixing Spoon
- 150 g tinned Sweetcorn, drained
- 1 Courgette/Zucchini, grated
- 1/2 Red Onion, finely chopped
- 1 clove Garlic, finely chopped
- 1 Red Chilli, finely chopped optional, or use less to your tasting
- 1 tsp Ground Coriander
- 1 tbsp Ground Almonds
- 2 tbsp Dessicated Coconut
- 2 Spring Onions, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp Fresh Coriander, chopped
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 35 g Gram Flour or flour to bind
- 2 tbsp Vegetable Oil for frying
- Gently warm half teaspoon of rapeseed oil in a frying pan and lightly sauté the courgette, red onion, garlic, ground coriander and chilli until fragrant and starting to soften.
- Place the coconut, ground almonds, chopped coriander and spring onions in a bowl.
- Add the sauteed mixture to the bowl, stir well and add the salt.
- Sprinkle the gram flour (or flour of your choice) over the mixture and gently mix in.
- Refrigerate for at least an hour. This mixture is sticky and needs to chill before you can mold into fritters. It also allows all the flavours to just hang out in the bowl and mingle and develop.
- Heat 2 tbsp vegetable oil in a frying pan until a small drop of the batter starts to sizzle.
- Dusting your hands with a little more flour, gently mold the mixture into patties, dropping them into oil as you make them.
- Fry for about 3 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. You may find it easier to drop spoonfuls of the mixture straight into the frying pan if you find your mixture is too sticky to work with.
- Serve with a salad, some lime wedges and some Sriracha or sweet chilli dipping sauce.