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Wednesday, November 08, 2006

A simple zucchini curry


The word “curry” is on its way to confuse me, I face my worst moments whenever I am confronted with bottles labeled “curry powder” in a grocery shop, or when I am dipping a piece of naan into that omnipresent red gravy served in Indian restaurants here, which appears in the menu in many different curry avatars. I have a bottle of curry powder which has almost acquired the status of a keepsake, was once opened and a tablespoon or two used and is gathering dust ever since. Any spice blend as it is used in India, be it a sambar powder or garam masala, can be strong but is devoid of that lingering fetor that some of the “curry powders” have. What is that secret ingredient or formula which suppresses the fragrance of the spices, and turns this blend into a pungent smelling buff colored power? In India majority of everyday no frill curries feature simpler spice combinations and reflect regional and personal spice preferences. Here is a simple zucchini curry, with coconut milk and curry leaves, tastes best when served with rice.
Zucchini (medium size)- 2
Coriander powder - 1 tbsp
Kashmiri chilly powder – 1 ½ tsp
Salt - to taste
Curry leaves – 8-10nos
Coconut oil – 1 tsp
Onions sliced (preferably red) – 1 ½ cup
Ginger finely chopped – 1 ½ tsp
Garlic finely chopped – 1 tsp
Coconut milk (light) - 3/4cup

Halve each zucchini horizontally. Cut each half into 1-½ inch slices. Score (2 or 4 lines) the flesh side of the pieces with a knife. Mix chilly powder, coriander powder and a pinch of salt, add 1 tbsp water and make a thick paste. Marinate zucchini pieces in this paste for 10-20 minutes. Heat ¾ tsp oil till smoking hot; add onions, ginger and garlic and sauté till onions are translucent. Add 3/4 cup of water to the sautéed mixture and let the water boil. Arrange the marinated zucchini pieces with cut side up in this mixture. Mix ¼ cup of water with the remaining marinade and add to the pan. Add ¼ cup of coconut milk. Cook covered for 8-12 minutes. Remove the lid; turn the heat up to thicken the gravy. Once the gravy is thick, add ½ cup of coconut milk, and gently mix. Turn of the heat. Slightly crush curry leaves with ¼ tsp coconut oil and add to the prepared curry. Keep it covered for 5-10 minutes. Mix well before serving with rice.

57 comments:

Shankari said...

kadavule..why do you do this to me, just after I finish dinner I see this and I am hungry again :)

Praveena said...

Archana, your presentation is so nice. You have made simple ol Zuccini into a super model :)

Anonymous said...

I agree about that pungent smell of curry powder, i think it is too much of fennel and turmeric. May be.

Manisha said...

I love the simple flavors in this! And I love the way you have scored the zucchini - this lets the masala get into the crevices, making the vegetable even more delicious! Yum!

Sumitha said...

A Zucchini Curry!I have never thought of that,Will soon give this a try Archana!

Shaheen said...

nice presentation and very interesting combination of nadan curry and wetern vegetable.. i guess this comes from years of living and adapting to US life.

priya said...

Archana: You make me sit and not go anywhere but just see your pictures mouthwatering:-))

RP said...

That's the bestest zucchini dish I've ever seen! How beautiful, and I am sure it is yummy too. With coconut milk, it can't go wrong.

Lakshmi said...

with zucchini a curry, have to try some day.looks so good

wheresmymind said...

Grrreat presentation...makes me hungry for lunch at 8:30am! lol

gattina said...

Archana,
I love the way how you present a traditional dish... mould the rice, fresh zucchini for garnish... these elements really make the (photo) composition more attractive! But it's not the only thing I like, also the info in the intro and your simple yet delicious cooking! It's the dish I definitely will go for!

Deepa Kiran said...

Hello Archana,I visit your blog almost everyday and you never fail to surprise me with your extraordinary skills.This is the first time I am leaving a comment on your blog.You are doing an awesome job Archana.Your cakes makes me drool over,perfect colors,perfect pictures..everything is so perfect..I had tried your kashmiri pulao and it turned out superb.I just love kashmiri pulao and was looking for a authentic recipe to try once and luckily got yours.
You are really an inspiration for a novice( in cooking/baking) like me.Keep up the good work.
(p.s:Sorry for taking much of your comment space)

Anonymous said...

I've been a silent and amazed spectator here for a month now. Mere words don't do justice to your creativity with food, pictures and words. I had to write today because I was wondering what to make with Zucchini tonight at home and as a matter of habit checked your blog just now and saw this!! Perfect!! Thanks much:-)
Revathi

upsilamba said...

Zucchini it is for our dinner tonight!!!
Never thought of coconut milk in zucchini, though myself a mallu :-)

Nabeela said...

oh the picture is so beautiful! I love your presentation!

Trupti said...

That looks terrific! what a pretty picture!!!

Chandrika said...

Archana, I have my real doubts if you are a food stylist. If not, I am sure the food stylist world needs serious talent like yours!
:-)

nalini said...

Very novel curry with Indian spices. Great recipe!

Monisha said...

here's to a delicious vegetarian 'curry' recipe that is simple and so yummy looking :)!

Foodie's Hope said...

Beautiful as usual.Zucchini rocks!:))

Indira said...

When compared to homemade, custom prepared masalas, readymade blends of curry powders and garam masalas, they almost taste like saw dust. There is no punch or kick to them.

I've never seen Zucchini prepared in such a beautiful way. Gorgeous, Archana!

Krithika said...

Yet another gorgeous presentation ! Curry looks delicious !

Alison said...

This zucchini looks awesome.. I too posted an indianized zucchini recipe on my blog this week.. Would love to try yours out too!

Priya S&S said...

The sauce looks really good Spicy and what a super simple recipe !

Beautiful presentation !!!

Menu Today said...

Hi Archana,
Simply Superb!!!!!Different variation to zuccini.. Thanks for sharing.

Faffer said...

Archana,
Just when I thought I was losing my love for this vegetable, I see this recipe! I love the idea of cooking it in coconut milk. I will definitely give this recipe a try.

The following goes w/o saying for all my future comments:
Beautiful styling and lovely pictures!

Nidhi said...

Another Zucchini Curry...will try it as well. By-the-way nice pic.

Thanks..

Neema said...

Archana, this curry is unbelievably tasty, i made it for lunch today, will be making it often.Loved it, loved it, loved it.

Anonymous said...

Archana, this is Rg.

Wow!that's an awesome picture. It looks very appealing. I agree with Praveena, your Zucchinis have turned out to be a vegetable super-model. :)

It almost sounds like meen curry without tamarind. I will sure try this one out along with Annita's Zucchini thoran. Can't wait.

Archana, thanks for this awesome recipe.:)

Rg.

sra said...

Lovely pix, as usual. And the mildness of the zucchini and the coconut milk with curry powder must combine well, I'm sure.
My gran used to say a curry powder factory in her childhood used to use dried horse manure to add volume! Hope that's not causing the "lingering fetor," yuck!

nini said...

Meravigliosi!

gattina said...

Archana,
my another blog pal (Sher from What did you eat) told me a few of bloggers (you're there!) being mentioned in Kiplog due to good photography. Congrats my dearest friend!!!

Linda said...

Archana, it looks so delicious... I just want a spoon and napkin please :)

pembeli said...

Blog very good!

www.blogcu.com/pembeli

Sri said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sri said...

Archana, beautiful presentation. Your zuccini curry reminded me of my granny's mango curry.Thanks for stopping by my blog,was elated to see your comment, meant a lot.

Saffron said...

Aha! a curry without the "curry powder" !! bravo!

looks wonderful and fresh archana!

cheers!

Bhargavi said...

Oh god,....great picture,....I am drooling here.

Siji said...

Archana,
your presentations are very nice.You take the pics or any proffessional guys helps u to do that...?

mandira said...

I have never tried making zucchini with coconut... it looks delicious. Will try it soon. Thanks for sharing Archana.

archana said...

Shankari
Thank you friend.

Praveena
Wow, that is some compliment, thanks a bunch!


Anonymous
Same here too, I am not sure. Thanks.


Manisha
Thanks, well you got it. Scoring Zucchinis did help in making it soft, and flavorful.

Sumitha
Thanks Sumi.

Shaheen
We live and learn, thank you.


Priya
Flattered, thank you.

RP
Oh, yes! Will anything ever go wrong with coconut milk? Thank you AARppee

Lakshmi, Jeff
Thanks a bunch friends.

Gattina
Here these words coming from a talented girl like you really is enchanting. Thank you friend.

Deepa Kiran
Thank you for all these words of encouragements, I do cherish it. Glad to know that you liked the KP recipe. Please feel free to write as much as you want. Hearty welcome to Spicyana.

Revathi,
Thank you for letting me know that you are here, welcome to Spicyana. I am just so thankful that I am getting a chance to hear from all of you. How did the dinner go?

Upsilamba
That sounds great ! Coconut milk is my easy way out for making a curry with practically anything. Thank you Upsi, welcome to this blog.

Nabe, Trupti,
Thank you so much.

Chandrika
How I wish I could somehow develop a food stylist alter ego ! Thank you for these super cool words Chandrika, you made my day.


Nalini, Monisha, ASha
Thanks a bunch folks.

Indira
Thank you so much. I am not a huge fan of pre-made spice blends too, but I use them often. In general I can stand a pre-packed sambar powder or garam masala, but it is a big no to that blend simply called curry powder in general grocery shops. Your blog is always an inspiration to make my own spice blends. Thank you Indira.

Krithika, Priya,MT.
Thank you so much.

Alison
This looks like a curried-zucchini week, thank you.

Faffer
Thank you so much, the following goes with out saying, you are super cool.

Nidhi
Thank you

Neema
That’s fast!! Thank you, thank you, and thank you.

Hi Rg
You have always been a very kind friend of this blog, thank you. You are right; this is almost like a meen curry with out any kind of puli.

sra
Zucchini did go very well with coconut milk. Thank you.

Holy horse!!!!!

nini
Thank you.

gattina
Thank you for letting me know. Being with you in the list is an honor. Thanks a bunch.

Linda
Oh, sure, sure Linda…….
Thank you.

pembeli
Thank you.

Sri
Anytime Sri, I am glad that I found your blog. Thank you for your kind words.

Saffron, Bhargavi
Thank you so much, I am so happy that you liked it.

Siji
Welcome aboard! Thank you for the compliments, I take these pics, and I am so excited to know that you liked it.

mandira

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Are you sure that you didn't use tomatoes? Very well prsentation as always

Prema Sundar said...

Hi Archana ,My MIL would make somewhat similar curry with mushroom and cauliflower without ginger and garlic and it would taste yummy too. I have not cooked many dishes with zuchini and tis one is sure tempting ...I love any dish with coconut milk. thanks for the recipe.

വിശാല മനസ്കന്‍ said...

പ്രിയ അര്‍ച്ചന,

ഒന്നും പറയാനില്ല!!! അത്രക്കും ടോപ്പ്!!!

ഈ ബ്ലോഗില്‍ എന്ന് വന്ന് നോക്കിയാലും അന്ന് ഞാന്‍,
‘ഒരു അടിപൊളി കുക്കായിട്ട് തന്നെ ഇനി വേറെ കാര്യം. ഇന്ന് ആരൊടും പറയാതെ ഇതീക്കാണുന്ന ഒരു സ്പെഷ്യല്‍ ഡിഷ് ഞാന്‍ ഉണ്ടാക്കി റൂമിലുള്ളവരെ മൊത്തം ഞെട്ടിക്കും’ എന്ന്.

കുറെ കഴിയുമ്പോള് ‍തോന്നും അല്ലെങ്കില്‍.. ‘അവര്‍ അങ്ങിനെയിപ്പോ ഞെട്ടണ്ട‘ എന്ന്.

പിന്നെ ഏസ് യൂഷ്വല്‍ നാല് സബോളയും രണ്ട് തക്കാളിയും മറ്റു കണ്ടാടി കുണ്ടാടി സാധനങ്ങളും കോഴിയും വെട്ടിയിട്ട് ഒറ്റു തിളപ്പിക്കല്‍! ടേങ്ങ്! ചിക്കന്‍ കറി റെഡി!

എന്നിട്ട് തൈരും അച്ചാറും ചിക്കന്‍ കറിയും മിക്സ് ചെയ്ത് ചപ്പാത്തിയും കഴിച്ച് എന്നത്തെയും പോലെ...

Smitha said...

Oh Archana, Thanks again for saving my day! I've these 3 lovely zucchinis sitting in the fridge, and didn't wanna make anything 'regular' with them. Now i'm definitely gonna make this for dinner tonite! BTW...excellent presentation once again! Did you try making the Nasi Lemak and Sayur Lodeh? How did they turn out?

Seema said...

Gorgeous this is gorgeous... and i am sure is tastes as good as it looks ...will try it out soon

Little Miss Muffet said...

hi,

I came across ur blog today when i did a google search with zucchini and coconut milk. I have lots of zucchini recipes which sound pretty similar, with tomatoes and baking involved. Ur recipe is so different! I just finished eating a serving of it with rice and it tastes so yummy :) reminds me of thai food.

Emmeya said...

This recipe looks amazing, but when I made it, the added water (3/4c and then 1/4c)made it way too wet. Did anyone else have that problem? It tasted great but it was just a little too diluted - I'll make it again, sans water! I served it with chickpeas and little heart shaped idlis and sambar, it was a great meal!

Anonymous said...

Hi Archana,

I am first timer on this blog...like everyone else, was simply blown away by ur cakes and ur understanding of photography...they r pieces of art, no less!...I am writing to say I tried ur no-frills zucchini curry tdy and simply loved it!...lesser ingredients means lesser chance for newbies like me to go wrong!

Thanks a ton and keep up the good work!

Supriya H

Arun said...

Absolutely superb! We tried this with dosas, may go well with appams too!

Maninas: Food Matters said...

hi, i made this lovely curry yesterday, with a few additions of my own, and we loved it. i wrote a post on it, which is where my additions and alterations are mentioned. thanks.

Maninas said...

your photos are much much better though! :)

i used baby courgettes so i didn't sear them.

Anonymous said...

I tried making this curry today and thought I "should" leave a comment. It was delicious and tastes as good as it looks! :)Never had a vegetable curry that tastes so good and so easy to make! I have never tried zucchini but now I will probably be making it regularly!

Swaroop B said...

I agree that curry powder smells so heavenly. As far as I understand the smell is dominated by coriander (cilantro) seeds, grated cocounut (copra), and cumin seeds.

Food Fanatic said...

Hi! I have been meaning to try this out forever because I was unknown to zucchini in India. I finally tried it out today and despite the fact that i made several mistakes, it still turned out well!
Thanks so much for providing this recipe. I think it's unique.

Lori said...

Very confusing too, to explain to people that curry is not that spice blend they find in the market. That it is so much more.

DreamMaker said...

For the benefit of fellow chefs, here is the video for the same recipe with a bit of variations. http://youtu.be/Qzgv5mHV1zg

Archana, I am dearly waiting for your comments on this.

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