These deep fried balls of zucchini goodness have been standard fare on our favourite Turkish restaurant’s menu for longer than we’ve been married. We’re quite certain of this because it’s the place (and the people who ran it) we loved enough to ask them to nourish our wedding guests.
We’ve tried other places. One added carrots; another had so much flour that finding a trace of zucchini was like finding a needle in a haystack; another was a soggy, oily ball of … something. In the end, there’s only one place that makes them the way we like them. But now we’ve had a go ourselves, and our kabac mucveris aren’t too bad.
Their kabac mucveris are bigger, fluffier and deeper-fried than ours, but you can’t expect miracles from a small home kitchen that doesn’t do deep frying at all. We do shallow frying and baking with an unhealthy amount of oil. We’ve done these balls both ways, and they’re all good.
Update: The Fiesta Friday party gets the first taste of these treats, and they’re disappearing off the plate faster than you could say Murrumbidgee!
- 400 grams of zucchini
- 2 eggs
- 1½ cups of self-raising flour
- 300 grams of paneer
- ¼ cup of fresh dill
- ½ cup of parsley
- 1 onion
- 3 or 4 stems of fresh mint
- freshly ground black pepper
- Grate the zucchini, mix in some salt and let it sit for half an hour, then squish out all the liquid you can. Keep some of the liquid so you can balance the consistency of the mixture later on (we’ve never needed to do this).
- Mince the herbs and onions; dice the paneer.
- Mix everything together in a large bowl.
- Form the batter into little golf-ball sized balls and fry (or bake) then until they are a deep golden brown, turning them often so they cook evenly.
- Serve with a dipping sauce made out of yogurt mixed with chopped cucumber and fresh mint.
Baking: scoop the dough onto a baking sheet on a biscuit tray, and bake in a slow oven while we do everything else: which often means while we fry the other half of the balls. Maybe allow half an hour (I’ve never measured it). It doesn’t save elapsed time, but it does save the amount of time you have to stand over a hot stove. I find it’s still worth a quick toss in hot oil at the end to give the final crispiness we all love.
Source: It took a long time to find a recipe that was anything like the taste we have come to love. This is the closest, and the recipe we ultimately have used: Istanbul Eats Cooks: Maya’s Mücver.