Zucchini spiced with fenugreek seeds, garlic and chilies

There you have it;  the ingredients list for this simply amazing zucchini preparation is part of the title of this post. You do have to add oil and salt but that is it. I have been making this recipe for a decade and I am still surprised by how addition of 3 other simple ingredients can turn zucchini to taste so sublime. The natural sweetness of zucchini is drawn out due to slow roasting and is perfectly balanced by the bitter fenugreek seeds and hot dried red chilies in this recipe. You can buy fenugreek seeds at an Indian store or online.

This recipe is inspired by another vegetable called turai (तोरई) in Hindi, a a summer season vegetable widely available in India. You can buy turai also known as ridge gourd (read here and here for more details) in the Indian or other Asian stores, but I find zucchini to be a good substitute.

Just after all the ingredients are added to the wok


Dice 4-5 zucchinis in half inch chunks or 1/3rd inch rounds.Peel 5-6 cloves of garlic and crush. Heat 1-2 tbsp oil in a heavy bottom skillet. I like to use mustard oil but coconut oil, olive oil or other vegetable oils can be used. When hot, add a tsp of fenugreek seeds. Let it sizzle for 5-10 seconds and then add dried hot red peppers. You can put them whole or break them up for extra hot flavor.  Add garlic, zucchini and stir. Add salt. Cover and let it cook. Stir every 5-7 minutes. Cook till zucchini is well done.

Only trick in this recipe, like making other ‘sukhi sabjee’ (dry vegetable side dish) on stove top, is to adjust heat in a way that water released from zucchini during cooking does not collect. If that happens, it will cause zucchini to boil in its own juice and you will end up with boiled flavor. Raise the heat or take the lid off if there seems to be liquid collecting at the bottom or turn the heat down if its starting to burn. For me, it works out best when the heat is just above medium.

Enjoy it rolled up in a flat bread or on top of the rice.

Dal rice with side of zucchini and potatocauliflower

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