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Cooking for Lent
Maria Milios

During the last couple of weeks, 7th-grade students in the Greek Culture and Cooking class have been learning about the Lenten fast that leads to Orthodox Easter/Pascha. The module started with a conversation on the traditions of Clean Monday, the day that marks the beginning of Lent, the food that is typically prepared during this season, and students made the traditional Kyra Sarakosti (Lady Lent). 

Kyra Sarakosti is an advent calendar for Great Lent. She has no mouth as she is fasting, her hands are crossed in prayer and has seven legs, one for each of the Seven Sundays of Great Lent and Holy Week. As the weeks progress, taking turns, each student removes a leg from Lady Lent until we reach Holy Week.

As for cooking, students have had the chance to make a few traditional Lenten recipes including dolmades, eliopitakia (olive breads), and ntomatokeftedes (tomato fritters) before moving on to traditional Easter food. During the month of April, the menu looks to baking traditional lazarakia breads in honor of Lazarus Saturday, the beloved tsoureki (Easter bread), and the AOS famous koulourakia! But before that, our chefs really enjoyed the ntomatokeftedes and would like to share the recipe with you!


Ntomatokeftedes - Tomato Fritters by Akis Petretzikis


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon(s) baking powder

  • 1 cup tomatoes, finely chopped

  • 1 cup tomatoes, grated

  • 1/2 cup zucchinis, grated

  • 1 onion, finely chopped

  • 1 cup feta cheese

  • 10 mint leaves

  • 6-7 basil leaves

  • 1 bunch parsley

  • 1 tablespoon(s) oregano, dry

  • salt

  • pepper

  • sunflower oil, for frying


  1. Place a deep pan with a generous amount of sunflower oil over heat.

  2. In a bowl, combine the flour and baking powder. Create a small well in the center and add the grated tomato, finely chopped tomato, grated zucchini and finely chopped onion.

  3. Use a fork to coarsely chop the feta cheese and add to the bowl.

  4. Coarsely chop the mint, basil, and parsley. Add to the bowl.

  5. Add the dry oregano, pepper, and salt. Mix gently to incorporate.

  6. Shape the tomato fritters into oval shaped patties, using two tablespoons.

  7. Add to pan with hot oil and fry for 3-5 minutes, until golden.

  8. When ready, transfer to a baking pan lined with paper towels. Repeat the same process until all of the fritters are ready.

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