What are mücver?
Mücver are traditional fritter from Turkish cuisine. They are generally vegetarian and prepared from chopped zucchini but may also contain feta or more vegetables such as grated carrots.
The addition of starch and yeast in the fritter batter makes them particularly supple and airy with a very crisp exterior. They are often flavored with dill and hot pepper. They are enjoyed as hot or warm mezze and are generally accompanied by a very fresh sauce made from yogurt flavored with garlic. Mücver are delicious when they are also served with raw vegetables.
Mücver means “jewel” in Turkish. As part of a mezze meal, mücver easily replace meatballs, so there’s no need to serve both at the same time. They can however be eaten as a simple snack or at dinner with a salad.
What is the origin of mücver?
Mücver are particularly appreciated and their origin is quite old as they date back at least to the Ottoman era. In the past, they were often associated with tea time and served as a snack. They were often eaten cold with olives.
How to make mücver?
To prepare delicious mücver fritters, it is best to use Lebanese summer squash, which are generally lighter and smaller and contain less water. They must be grated and then wrung out so as not to be too wet and thus risk to soak the fritter batter.
This preparation is made from beaten eggs, a dry mixture of cornstarch and all-purpose flour, yeast and various flavorings such as chopped dill and red pepper flakes. Once well mixed, the preparation is fried in small portions the size of a tablespoon in a very hot frying pan between 320 F and 375 F (160˚C and 190°C) depending on the desired result.
The hotter the oil, the more colorful and crispy the fritters will be on the outside. It is also to prevent them from getting soaked in oil when cooking too slowly. To prevent the preparation from sticking to the bottom of the pan, gently stir the pan and not the zucchini fritters, which are very fragile at the start and could break.
Once they get golden brown, the fritters are cooked and must imperatively be allowed to drain on paper towel, which will absorb the excess oil. It is also necessary to season the fritters with salt right out of the frying, so that they immediately absorb the salt. They can thus be eaten hot or warm.
What are the variants of mücver?
There are also versions based on cauliflower. In these versions, sage and nutmeg often replace dill and hot pepper.
Mücver can also be cooked in the oven for a much lighter version. The frying oil traditionally used in Turkey is olive oil but another type of oil will also work very well.
To reinforce the taste of mücver a little, some versions can be enriched with garlic and also grated onions.
To obtain a less supple preparation, the zucchini can be put to drain with salt in a colander for half an hour.
Other aromatic herbs can sometimes replace dill in mücver. These include parsley, oregano and mint.
- 4 mini zucchini (or Lebanese summer squash), peeled and grated
- 1 carrot , peeled and grated
- 3 eggs
- 4 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 sprigs dill , chopped
- ½ teaspoon red chilli flakes
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3 oz. feta cheese , crumbled (optional)
- Vegetable oil (for frying)
- Place the grated squash in cheesecloth and wring out well.
- In a large bowl, beat the eggs and add all the other ingredients (except the vegetable oil).
- In a frying pan, heat a large quantity of oil and, once it is hot, add small portions of the mixture to it using two tablespoons.
- Fry on both sides over medium to high heat so that the fritters are evenly browned. To do this, grasp the pan by the handle, and make slight rotary movements of the wrist so that the hot oil covers all the edges of the donuts and the top, and thus the cooking is uniform.
- Using a skimmer, remove the mücver from the oil and place in a dish lined with paper towel.
- Serve hot or warm with a yogurt sauce.