Crispy-edged summer squash fritters – imbued with the distinctive flavors of toasted cumin and fried black mustard seeds – are an unexpected and delicious way to make use of summer squash stores. The fritters are served with a cooling green onion and cilantro raita and sweet cherry tomatoes.
Summer Squash Fritters with Green Onion Raita
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
45 mins
 
Crispy-edged summer squash fritters – imbued with the distinctive flavors of toasted cumin and fried black mustard seeds – are an unexpected and delicious way to make use of your summer squash stores. The fritters are served with a cooling green onion and cilantro raita and sweet cherry tomatoes. 

No one wants a soggy fritter. As such, this recipe calls for two simple steps to wring the most possible water from the squash, salting and wringing. Taking these steps will ensure that the squash crisps up nicely with no sog in sight.

Raita recipe adapted from Bon Appetit
Recipe Type: Dinner
Keyword: Fritter
Makes: 4 servings
Author: Elizabeth Stark
Ingredients
Raita
  • 3 teaspoons cumin seed
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 teaspoons black or brown mustard seed
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 green onions, ends trimmed and minced, plus more for garnish
  • 1/3 bunch cilantro, stems and all, minced, plus more for garnish
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
Fritters
  • 4 medium summer squash, ends trimmed and shredded
  • 3 teaspoons sea salt, divided
  • 6 green onions, ends trimmed and chopped
  • 2 large eggs
  • reserved cumin
  • reserved mustard seed
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup fine or medium grind cornmeal
  • neutral, heat-tolerant oil for frying
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved *optional
Instructions
  1. First, prep the spices. Set a small skillet over medium heat. Add cumin seed and, shaking the pan a bit, cook just until seeds are fragrant, 1 - 2 minutes. Grind toasted seeds with a mortar and pestle or spice grinder. Reserve 2 teaspoons ground cumin for fritters. Heat olive oil in the same skillet, then add mustard seeds and cook just until the first few pop, 1 - 2 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and set pan aside to cool. When cool, strain mustard seeds from the oil. Reserve 2 teaspoons seeds for the fritters and the oil for drizzling over raita just before serving.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir to combine yogurt, lemon juice, green onions and cilantro, 1 teaspoon each ground cumin and fried mustard seeds, and sea salt. Cover and set in fridge while you make the fritters.
  3. In a large bowl, toss shredded summer squash with 1 teaspoon sea salt; set aside for 15 minutes.
  4. Scoop squash from accumulated juices, wringing with your hands as you go, and set in a large flour cloth or other clean kitchen towel. Twist up the ends and wring as much water as you can from the squash.
  5. In a medium mixing bowl, stir to combine squash, green onions, eggs, and 2 teaspoons sea salt. Fold in flour and cornmeal. The mixture may seem dry at first, but just keep folding and the flour will absorb. Set batter aside to rest for 10 minutes.
  6. Set a wire rack on a baking sheet and slide into the oven. Set temperature to 200 degrees F.
  7. Heat a large cast iron or other heavy skillet on the stove with the dial turned just past medium (roughly 5-o'clock). Add oil to a 1/4-inch depth. When oil shimmers and is fragrant, add dough in 1/4 cup scoops. Press down gently once you set them in the oil. There should be enough room to cook 5 or 6 at a time. Cook, nudging just a bit to prevent sticking, 4 minutes or until the edges appear deep golden brown under the surface of the oil. Carefully flip fritters using a fish spatula or tongs, and cook 3 - 4 minutes more. As cooking proceeds, edge heat down to medium and reduce cook times slightly as needed. Keep cooked fritters warm on the prepared wire rack in the oven.
  8. Just before serving, spoon raita into a serving bowl and swirl with a spoon. Drizzle with reserved mustard oil, and sprinkle with chili powder and reserved green onion and cilantro. Serve fritters with a big dollop of raita and a few cherry tomatoes.