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Sunday, September 20, 2015

Panch Poran Zucchini and Butternut Masala

There are days when I try very hard to cook this way.. And there are days when I find myself unable to cook any other way.  Those are the days when I know I want moong beans, for example, and that's it.  I have to rummage my way around my fridge and pantry to work around that one urge.. Because When I want moong, I want the whole experience.  My brain goes into autopilot and I become the puppet of my subconscience.  Today, I surprised myself as I sat down to enjoy my mung dal that all these other friends had come to enjoy the party.. Especially Mr. Zucchini.  That fellow has never come to join my India evenings.  Today, my Id must have done some coaxing for him to join us.. And I'm very happy he accepted the impromptu invitation!
Serve 3 as a side
2 large zucchini, sliced lengthwise, then into 1/4 inch thick moons
1 Tbsp coconut oil
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
2 dried red chiles
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp nigella seeds
1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds
1/4 tsp fennel seeds
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp amchur (mango powder)
Juice from 1/2 lime
Pinch chile powder
Fleur de sel, to taste
1 cup cubed butternut squash (mine was already roasted)
Chopped cilantro for garnish
1.  Heat the oil in a wide heavy based pan (sautée pan).  Add the seeds and red chiles and cook for about 1 minute or until they crackle and sputter.  This mixture of seeds is called Panch Poran.  I like that name.
2.  Add the zucchini slices and stir to coat.  If your butternut squash is raw, add it as well.  If it is already cooked, wait until the end to add it.
3.  Cover and cook on high for 2-3 minutes.  During this time, the zucchini and squash will steam a bit while keeping some texture.
4.  Uncover and cook, stirring for another 3-4 minutes on high.  If your butternut squash is was already cooked, now is the time to add it.
5.  Add the lemon juice and mango powder along with a few pinches fleur de sel.  Stir and set aside until ready to serve topped with some chopped cilantro.

I served this with some Hara Moong Dal, Cabbage Sambharo, Turmeric Basmati Rice, and Rotis.

The whole deal was lovely but what I liked about this recipe is that the zucchini keeps its texture and does not melt down into complete mush.  Mr. Zucchini can be quite seductive when he puts his mind to it..

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