Zucchini is one of the vegetables that I came to know and use only after coming to the US, but something I regularly buy during summer. It is very versatile and can be used in anything from subzis, sambar, chutneys etc. I love the mellow, sweet taste it renders. You can see the complete list of my zucchini recipes here.
This week, I tried to use zucchini in a typical south Indian preparation called ‘Masiyal’. The word ‘masiyal’ actually means ‘mashed’. This dish is mildly spiced mashed zucchini, along with some creamy moong dal. It can be used as a side or spooned on top of rice to make a satisfying meal. Also, this is a no onion, no garlic recipe – perfect for people who fast. This is a very adaptable recipe too, for variations, see the Notes section below.
4 medium, tender zucchini, chopped fine
1/3 cup moong dal
1 small marble sized ball of tamarind, soaked in water and extracted
3 green chillies slit
2 red chillies
1/2 tsp mustard
1 tsp urad dal
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp asafoetida
2 tsp oil
a sprig of curry leaves
salt, to taste
Place the moong dal in a sauce pan with enough water to cover. Let cook until soft and creamy. Set aside.
In another pan, heat 1 tsp oil. Add the slit green chillies, and let it infuse the oil. Next, add the zucchini and saute for a min. Add the turmeric and salt, cover with a lid and let cook for about 5 minutes, or until the zucchini is soft and can be mashed with the back of a wooden spoon. Mash it coarsely and add in the tamarind water. Let it cook for another 2-3 minutes. Finally, add the cooked moong dal and let it all come to a boil together. Check for salt and switch off stove.
In a seperate pan, heat the oil for tadka. Add in the mustard, let it splutter. Add the urad dal, asafoetida and curry leaves. Spoon the tadka over the masiyal and serve hot with rice or roti.
Verdict: The highlight of this kootu is the way it is different from other kootus, with its tangy tamarind flavor. The no onion, no garlic, no tomato, no grinding, no cumin involved, makes it a plus for me. It has a creamy, mushy sweet taste from the zucchinis that tastes awesome. I had it with rotis whereas DH had it with rice, and we both loved it.
1. The dal is optional, feel free to omit if you would like just plain zucchini flavor.
2. You can substitute with either toor dal or masoor dal.
3. You can substitute the zucchini with any other vegetable such as chayote squash(chow chow), opo squash(lauku/sorakkai), yellow summer squash, lemon cucumber, eggplant, tomato, ridgegourd(peerkangai) etc.
4. Instead of using tamarind water, you can even juice a lemon/lime into the masiyal just before serving, to render that tangy flavor.
5. If making the masiyal with just tomato, omit the tamarind or lemon/lime, since the tomatoes would have the tangy flavor all by themselves.
Sending this masiyal to:
1. Vegetable/Fruit of the Month – Zucchini, event series by Priya
2. ‘Show me your Hits – Legumes/Lentils’ event series by Sangeetha
3. ‘Only Vegan’ event series by Kalyani.
4. Also sending this to ‘MLLA #49’, event series by Susan of the Well Seasoned Cook.