Zucchini/Courgette Squash Chutney/Salad Dressing
It has been only a couple of hours since I started this blog but I already learnt something new. During my research to type this entry, I learnt that Zucchini flower is also used in cooking. The Wikipedia entry went on to say that in Mexico, the flower is preferred over the fruit. I will watch out for the zucchini flower from now on. If anyone else tasted a dish made out of the zucchini flower, please let me know. I would love to know.
Now coming back to the intent of this post, I do not remember seeing this sqaush in India. If anyone else has seen it, I would love to be enlightened.
A couple of summers ago, a friend who had a kitchen garden, had too many zucchinis and gave me a few. At that point, I tried to find some Indian recipes to make with. I found the zucchini chutney, zucchini with tomato and onion curry recipes etc. I adapted these recipes to my own tastes. Now buying zucchini is a regular in my household. I usually toss them in pasta sauces, grill zucchinis etc.
The following is my version of the chutney.
For the chutney
- 3 medium to large zucchinis
- 6-7 Indian greenchilies or 2-3 Jalapenos
- small lime size ball of tamarind
- 1/2 tsp methi/fenugreek/menthulu seeds
- 1 tsp cumin/jeera/jeelakarra seeds
- 1 tsp black mustard/Rai/Avvalu seeds
- 1 tsp coriander/dhaniyalu/dhaniya seeds
- 1 inch ginger (peeled) piece
- 1/2 tsp turmeric/haldi/pasupu powder
- salt, to taste
- 1 tsp of extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tsp chana dal (optional)
- 2 tsp urad dal (optional)
- 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil/any other oil you prefer
- 1/2 tsp black mustard/Rai/Avvalu seeds
- 1/2 tsp cumin/jeera/jeelakarra seeds
- 1 sprig curry leaves/kadipatha/karivepaku
To garnish (optional)
3 sprigs cilantro/dhaniya/kothimeera
- One pan
- In a pan, add the cumin, mustard, fenugreek and coriander seeds and dry roast them until you smell the aroma. Cool the spices and grind it in a spice grinder.
- Peel and dice zuchini into cubes. Since it will be put in the food processor anyway, I would just randomly chop it. Cut the green chilis in half. Cut the ginger coarsely.
- In a pan, heat 1 tsp of the extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), add the zucchini pieces, green chilis and the tamarind. I just add the tamarind directly without soaking it in water and squeezing the pup out so that the chutney does not become watery. You can try soaking it in water and adding just the pup if you don't mind runny chutney.
- After about 5 min of cooking, add the turmeric and salt.
- Cook until the zucchini is soft and tender to touch.
- Add the previously ground spice mixture, mix it well and let it cool.
- While the zucchini is cooling, heat the 1 tsp oil for the popu in a small fry pan and add the dals first (if you are using them) and then add the rest of the ingredients.
- Put the zucchini in the food processor and blend until smooth.
- Add the popu to the ground zucchini and the chutney is ready to serve.
Serving Suggestion: This chutney goes well with rice, roti, paratha. I make a without popu version of this chutney and use it as a salad dressing - I stream in another 1/4 cup of EVOO while it is blending. I also use the without popu version as a sandwich spread.