It is easy to adopt vegetables of foren places to the tried and tested, centuries-old culinary traditions of India. Gently simmered in dal or steam-sauteed in subjis, surrounded by complimentary spice seasoning, Indian recipes highlight vegetables’ inherently good nature without suffocating them with artificial flavors. Example is the following recipe. Here, in this Marathi based, rural popular Zunka recipe, zucchini is quickly stir-fried and seasoned with nutritious besan flour to a vibrant and crisp-cooked end result. I remember an old Bharat saying – “select your ingredients as if they were your future daughter-in-law”. Here it definitely applies and it’s jai ho to zunka when zucchini does not well up with loads of tears at the touch of heat. Yellow is the best for that reason and that’s why I planted yellow zucchini. But if you make it with green, pick young and firm-fleshed green zucchinis for this recipe.
(for two meals)
2, young and fresh yellow zucchini
1 red onion or shallot
1/4 cup besan flour
2 garlic cloves
2 dried, red chillies
1 tablespoon, grated dried coconut
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
For tadka: from masala dabba, a pinch each cumin and mustard seeds, few curry leaves and a tablespoon of peanut oil
1: Cut yellow zucchinis to bite-sized pieces. (For young zucchini, skin tend to be thin, so don’t peel the skin.) Finely chop onion to small pieces.
Take besan, garlic, dried red chilli and coconut in a mixer or mortar. Add a pinch of salt and grind the ingredients to fine mix.
Now the prep work is done and on with cooking.
2: Place a cast iron skillet on stove-top. Add and heat oil. When oil is hot, add curry leaves, cumin and mustard seeds and toast to fragrance for couple of seconds. Add onion and saute to soft. Add zucchini pieces and stir-fry over medium high heat for about five minutes until almost cooked but still crisp.
3: Sprinkle the besan mix, salt and turmeric. Turn up the heat slightly and saute for about two minutes. Scoop into a bowl and serve the zucchini zunka warm with chapati or sorghum roti.
Zucchini Zunka ~ for Meal Yesterday