Shahi Zucchini Bhartha

I am back from a really great and refreshing vacation. We rented a beachside house where the backyard is the beach. The sea was literally a stones throw away from the house. We had a really great time, taking long walks on the beach and great picnics on the beach. Will post some pictures very soon. I haven’t gotten to cooking anything yet. Actually, I haven’t gotten to unpacking yet. But, couldn’t resist checking the blog.

Here is a post that has been long pending. I actually made this curry to go with my Minty Cottage Cheese Parathas. I loved the zucchini prepared this way, and as much as it tasted good..I enjoyed the process of making it. It was a perfect summer day, and I started the grill, charred the zucchini, peeled off the skin, mashed the flesh..Its one of the things I love about cooking. It relaxes me…its very therapeutic. There is only one thing that beats this…baking. ūüôā

If you don’t have a grill, don’t worry. You can do this either on top of your gas burner holding the zucchini with tongs or in the oven with the broiler set to high. With either method, take care to turn the zucchini every couple of minutes to ensure even charring.

3 medium zucchinis
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp garlic, minced
1 tbsp ginger, minced
2 onions finely chopped
2 tomatoes finely chopped
2 green chillies, slit
1/2 cup cilantro, finely chopped
1 tsp kashmiri chilli powder
1 tbsp dried fenugreek leaves
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp salt, or to taste
1/2 cup fat free half and half
1/2 cup frozen peas(optional)

Preheat the grill. Wash, wipe dry and smear the outer skin of the zucchinis with 1 tbsp oil. Grill until charred on all sides.

Keep turning every 5 mins or so to ensure even cooking. Remove the zucchini onto a plate and cover with foil. Let rest for about 5 minutes. Peel the skin off and mash the pulp coarsely with a fork. Set aside.

Heat the remaining oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the cumin and let it splutter. Add the chopped onion and saute for a minute. Add the slit green chillies, chopped ginger and garlic next. Add turmeric and saute until everything is soft and translucent. Add the chopped tomatoes and salt. Saute until the juices evaporate and the tomatoes are soft. Add the kashmiri chillli powder, garam masala, kasuri methi and saute for a couple of minutes. Add the mashed zucchini pulp, the half and half and frozen peas if using. Let everything come up to boil together until it all thickens and the raw smell of the masalas disappear.

Serve hot with rotis or chapatis.

Verdict: This was a creamy curry that was a perfect accompaniment to chapatis. The smokiness rendered from the grilling was complimented by the slightly sweet taste of the zucchinis and the peas. The same preparation can be done with eggplants also.

I am sending this delicious curry to Divya’s ‘Show me your Curry’ event and also to Ayeesha’s ‘Iftar Moments: Hijri’ event.

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