Indian Spiced Stuffed & Fried Squash Blossoms

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Indian Spiced Stuffed and Fried Squash Blossoms

Squash blossoms, also known as zucchini blossoms or zucchini flowers, are popular in Italy and have gained popularity in the United States, especially where farmer’s markets are available. These gorgeous yellow flowers grow on the squash plant in the summer, all the way up to early fall. 

 

Can I grow squash blossoms in my own backyard?

They can be easily grown in your own backyard! Zucchini plants, when planted in late spring, will produce male and female blossoms in the summer. The male blossoms have a slender stem; the female flowers are the ones with the fruit behind them. 

 

They are also very bulbous at the bottom of the flower. If you grow blossoms, make sure to pluck the male flowers and  allow the female flowers to grow the zucchini or squash itself. The blossoms are the freshest and perkiest when plucked straight out of your own garden.

Indian Spiced Stuffed & Fried Squash Blossoms

You can find zucchini or squash blossoms at farmer’s markets in the Bay Area or at your local speciality grocery store. I use them within a day or two because they wilt quite easily if kept longer. It is not essential to remove the pistil from the blossoms. Squash blossoms have a milder taste, similar to that of the squash or zucchini that the blossom produces. 

 

Different was to use Squash Blossoms

These blossoms are very popular in Italy where they are stuffed with ricotta and Parmesan cheese, and herbs, dipped in batter and fried. In Mexico, they are often found in quesadillas along with a melty cheese like Oaxaca.

Indian Spiced Stuffed & Fried Squash Blossoms

We love squash blossoms on Pizzas, Stuffed and fried blossoms in tacos (my son’s favorite!)

 

My Indianised version of Squash Blossoms

When I was developing my version of stuffed and fried squash blossoms, I wanted to incorporate my heritage into the recipe for this humble blossom. I drain the ricotta of excess water, then  combine it with aromatics, including  green chile, garlic and onions, herbs like cilantro, dry spices like garam masala and toasted cumin, lime zest and juice for a bit of zing.

Indian Spiced Stuffed & Fried Squash Blossoms

The ingredients of the stuffing are:

Ricotta: I use whole milk ricotta, and drain out all the liquid before I use it as a filling.

Jalapeno: Jalapeno adds that bit of spicy kick to the mixture that I love.

Garlic Cloves and red onions: Alliums are a strong part of Indian culture and I cannot do without it.

Garam masala: This masala is a mix of several spices that make the backbone of many good Indian dishes. 

Toasted cumin seeds: It is important to toast cumin seeds to give out the best earthy taste. The cumin seeds when coarsely ground impart a wonderful aroma that I am fond of.

Cilantro and Mint: All savory dishes must contain herbs. My favorites are cilantro and mint, that is what I grew up with.

Lime and lime zest: Adds a lovely zing to the filling that I love.

 

The BEST TIP EVER!

To keep things neat, try this brilliant tip I have discovered over the many years making squash blossoms: Use  a piping bag to fill the blossom. This helps prevent petal tears and  keeps the mixture in the blossom. 

 

TIPS on the Batter

The batter needs to be chilled and cold, so that when the blossom is coated, and fried in hot oil, it crisps up nicely. The batter is made with all purpose flour and rice flour. Seltzer water is added to create bubbles in the batter that makes the coating light, airy, crispy and delicious! I got the idea from Tempura Batter which is my favorite!

Indian Spiced Stuffed & Fried Squash Blossoms

DIP Info and what is Kewpie Mayo? Where can I find it?

The dip is essentially kewpie or regular mayonnaise flavored with harissa, a Tunisian chile paste that is now readily available in grocery stores. Kewpie mayonnaise is made with egg yolks and MSG, hence giving it a creamier and richer texture than regular mayonnaise. It is a very popular condiment in Japan. You can find Kewpie mayo here

 

The harissa adds depth, elevating the dip for this flavor-packed appetizer. A chilled glass of beer is all you need to complete this fantastic appetizer.

 

Other Squash Blossom recipes that you can find on my blog:

Indian Spiced Stuffed & Fried Squash Blossoms

Hope you get to try this recipe! IF you do, please tag me at #thejamlab on Instagram and/or leave a comment on this blog post!

 

Hope you all are having a great summer!

 

XO

Amisha

PS. This recipe was first developed and created by me for S.F. Chronicle. The recipe is published here.

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