No matter what the situation, we humans always find a reason to complain. And nothing, in my mind, elicits more complaints from people everywhere (except maybe those lucky enough to be living in some paradise like Hawaii or San Diego) than the weather! All winter long, we complain that it’s too cold, or that there’s too much rain or snow. And then come summer, suddenly, it’s too hot, it’s too dry, there are too many mosquitoes – the list goes on and on. Similarly, if you live in the Northwest (of the US) and fancy yourself to have a bit of a green thumb, every summer you complain from June to September about how your tomatoes are just not ripening fast enough. And then, all of a sudden, at the end of September, the tomatoes start coming in all at once, and now you’re stuck with finding a way to consume all those plump, juicy, red (or yellow or orange) fruits, in larger-than-Costco quantities.
Some of my more domestic friends look forward to this task and whip out their canning equipment to make salsas and pasta sauces and other delicious things. But by September, with all the jam that I’ve canned during berry season, I don’t want to see another boiling water bath until at least next year. To my lazy bones, tomatoes in September are for immediate gratification – after all, I have waited all summer for them to ripen!
In the spirit of wholesale tomato consumption, I try to experiment with new recipes that incorporate these summer ripened fruits. I recently came across a recipe for a Greek dish, called domatokeftehes, or tomato fritters, which seemed to be just the thing to accompany a Friday evening cup of tea with the hubby. Of course, as I started making these, my Indian brain took over and turned these fritters into something that no Greek person would recognize, but I think they turned out rather nice. Do you agree?
1 large ripe tomato, diced
½ zucchini, diced
½ tsp turmeric
½ tsp salt
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 T chopped fresh herbs such as oregano or cilantro
½ C flour
½ tsp baking powder
Mix all ingredients together, adding the flour and baking powder last.
Add enough water to form a thickish batter
Heat oil in wok on high heat until a drop of batter dropped into oil rises immediately to surface
Reduce heat to medium and drop tablespoon-fulls of batter into oil
Allow to brown on all sides; remove from oil with a slotted spoon, and drain on paper towels
Serve hot with spiced tea.