Courgette Flower Fritters

Years ago I used to live outside of Nice, one morning I got up really early and took the bus into Nice to watch the flower market (yes I do mean watch). I remember wandering the freshly washed streets with the warmth of the sun streaming down. I wandered around Cours Saleya for ages that morning just watching and drinking in the view of all the beautiful flowers and then another smell got my attention, the smell of something frying. Despite it being early a stall holder was dipping beautiful yellowy orange closed mouth flowers in a batter and frying them. They emerged from the hot oil, golden. Biting in is always pleasurable, slightly gooey and slightly crunchy.

Since then I make it a point to plant courgettes in my garden if for nothing more than the pure indulgence of courgettes flower fritters. If you are lucky enough to have courgette flowers in your garden use those that have flowered for a day to ensure pollination to produce courgettes. Once the flowers have flowered their mouths will close again. Pick the male flowers (those that don’t have fruit attached) complete with a stem. Please feel free to alter the spices to suit your palette, but try not to increase the chilli as too much chilli can be over bearing on the delicate courgette flower. There are plenty of recipes out there and this mine.

4 one day old Courgette flowers
5 heaped tablespoons of Chick pea (Basin) flour
1 teaspoon of garlic ginger paste
½ a teaspoon of: whole cumin seeds, coriander seeds,
¼ of red chilli flakes, salt, coarsely ground black pepper
Rapeseed Oil for frying

1. Wash and dry the courgette flowers.
2. Put the flour and spices in a bowl and gradually mix in the water until you reach the consistency of a batter.
3. Set aside for 10 mins.
4. Check the batter, it should be thick enough for stay on your finger and starts to drop, but not so thin that it falls off immediately.
5. Snip the stalk off the courgette flower leaving enough to hold on to the end of the courgette flower.

Courgette flowers can be deep fried but there really isn’t any need. The flowers are so delicate they cook in seconds. Instead I suggest shallow frying them.

6. Heat approximately 1cm of rapeseed oil in a frying pan
7. Hold on to the end of the stalk and drag the courgette flower through the batter, on the one side and then the other.
7. Fry each side until golden brown
8. Devour without delay!

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