Fried Kolokithakia | Traditional Fried Zucchini with Garlic Yogurt Sauce
Like most Greek recipes, this one begins in the garden. As anyone who has grown zucchini knows, once it is planted it produces prolifically and often leaves the gardener wondering what to do with all of it! Zucchini chips with garlic yogurt dips is just one of the many Greek dishes that feature zucchini, and today I’m going to show you how to make it.
I’m not sure of the exact origin of this recipe, but suffice it to say everyone makes it in Greece because there is more than enough zucchini to go around. Sometimes people also make eggplant chips or other vegetables chips alongside it as well. We always served this at our Greek restaurant and it was a huge hit as an appetizer. Plates always came back clean!
Preparing the zucchini is very simple and then it is pan fried on the stovetop. I know frying at home can be a little intimidating but I can assure you it’s actually very easy. The key is using vegetable oil and placing it in a pan that can tolerate very high heat and has high sides. This reduces oil splatter - and saves your clothes! Hot oil burns so make sure you have tongs, a slotted spoon, or a spider for handling the zucchini at all times.
Making the yogurt sauce is very simple and I usually do it at the end of the dish so it’s very fresh. As you can see, I put it in a squirt bottle to drizzle it over the zucchini on the platter so it looks really pretty. However, if you don’t have time to do that then I recommend putting the yogurt sauce in a dish and arranging the chips all around it for dipping. This tastes just as good and really fun for a crowd. This is one of our favorite snacks and I hope you like them as much as we do.
Fried Zucchini Chips with Garlic Yogurt Sauce
This is a very popular snack in Greece. Zucchini grows abundantly and is found everywhere. Lightly frying it makes it a little crispy and perfect for dipping in the cooling yogurt sauce. We used to serve this at our restaurant and now we love to serve this as an appetizer when friends come over!
Makes about 4-6 servings
3 medium zucchini 2 cups all-purpose flour 1 tsp salt ½ tsp black pepper 2 cups water 2 cups vegetable oil
Slice the zucchini in ¼” thick slices and lay the slices out on a baking sheet lined with paper towels. Don’t cut them too thin because you want them to be sturdy enough for dipping at the end.
In a large bowl add the flour, salt and pepper. Next to it place a bowl with the water.
Working carefully, dip each slice of the zucchini in the flour mixture until completely coated, then the water, and then the flour again. Place back on the lined baking sheet.
Pour the oil into a high-sided pan on the stovetop. Bring the heat to medium-high and test that it’s hot enough by adding a pinch of flour to the oil. When it sizzles upon contact it is ready to cook the zucchini.
Working in batches, add the zucchini slices to the hot oil and cook it for about 4 minutes on either side, or until they are golden brown. Return the cooked zucchini to the baking sheet lined with paper towel.
Sprinkle cooked zucchini with a little more salt and pepper and serve with the yogurt sauce.
Garlic Yogurt Sauce
Makes 1 cup
Ingredients 1 cup plain Greek yogurt (2% or full fat) 2 garlic cloves 3 Tbsp whole milk ½ tsp salt
Finely chop the garlic cloves in a food processor, then add the Greek yogurt to combine it thoroughly with the garlic. Pour in the milk and salt to thin out the mixture so it is the right consistency for dipping.
If you DON’T have a food processor, first place the garlic on a cutting board and smash it down with the side of a knife. Then, smash the garlic and salt together to make a sticky paste. Whisk this paste into a bowl with the remaining ingredients and serve.
Transfer the mixture to a squirt bottle. Place the chips on a platter and a drizzle the sauce on top of the chips. and serve. If you don’t have a squirt bottle you can also add the sauce to a dip bowl and serve the zucchini around the side.
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