My friend J, my sis-in-law and myself were having this conversation on FB about a beetroot chocolate cake, a while back, and somehow the conversation turned to zucchini bread. We were commenting on each others' reaction to using vegetables in baking and J mentioned her moms yummy zucchini mezhukkupuratti. It sounded like a great idea and I made a note to pick some up the next item I went grocery shopping.
That very evening we headed to Sainsburys to pick up some stuff and Ro started his usual rants about 'how we don't eat enough veggies' and how 'brocolli is awesome.' So to shut him up I said we'll pick up anything but the wretched broc and steered towards the spinach and cabbage aisles. 'Cabbage has absolutely no health benefits, he said (I have to check on that btw!) and made a face. Since I am now so used to just nodding and agreeing to anything he says (without actually listening), I nodded this time too, but put in a packet of spinach into the trolley. That's it? was his next question and by then I was losing it..this is about 5 minutes into the shopping experience. I saw a packet of zucchini and grabbed the last one saying this is very good. 'But its like a cucumber, only water.' Me (rolling my eyes) managed to ignore him. At that point I would have done anything to not let him pick that broccoli. God I hate that vegetable with a vengeance.
(Just a note to all the new wives out there...never take your husband grocery shopping. If he's anything like mine, you'd go mad, and also end up with a whole lot of unnecessary stuff which you'd have to eventually cook..not to mention the hefty bill amount. If the bags are too heavy to carry, call him just before you pay the bill). If there is one thing I've learned after 5 years of being married, its never to take your husband grocery shopping or send him grocery shopping alone. I get at least 10 calls from the shop asking me which variety of oil did i think was best. Trust me, I have proof for this...
Anyhoo, back to zucchini. Having experimented with zucchini only a few times, I was pretty apprehensive about how it would turn out. I am not too good with mallu preparations and till now don't know how to make the perfect thoran or mezhukkupuratti. So when J wrote back saying it is made like the usual mezhukkupuratti, I was a bit concerned. I don't know how the usual one is made, and so googled it. This would probably be my 1st ever mezhukkupuratti on my blog (after the really sad looking one here) and I hope you guys enjoy it. We loved it a lot!
Zucchini- 3 medium, chopped into cubes (approx. 3 cups)
Onion- 1 small, roughly chopped
Garlic- 3 pods, finely chopped (or 1 tsp garlic paste)
Ginger- 1/2 inch piece, finely chopped (or 1/2 tsp paste)
Dry red chilli- 1
Green chillies- 2, slit
Cumin powder- 1/4 tsp
Turmeric powder- 1/4 tsp
Mustard seeds- 1/4 tsp
Curry leaves- a sprig
Oil- 1/2 tbsp
Salt- to taste
Heat oil in a kadai and throw in the mustard seeds.
Once they splutter add the curry leaves, green chillies, red chilli, garlic and ginger. Saute for a few minutes.
Add onions and cook till they turn soft.
In goes the turmeric powder and cumin powder. Mix well to coat the onions and cook till it doesn't smell raw any more.
Throw in chopped zucchini and salt, stir to combine. Close with a lid and cook on medium low for about 10 minutes, stirring in between to make sure it doesn't stick to the bottom.
The zucchini lets out enough water, so you might want to open the lid and cook after a while. Over cook it, and it will turn mushy.
We had it with rice, dal, cutlets and pickle..bliss!
Notes: The oil somehow oozed out quite a bit when I used about 1 tbsp, and so have reduced it to 1/2 a tbsp
It was also a tad towards the spicier side, so go easy on the chillies if you want a milder version.