Saturday, August 6, 2016

Zucchini Muthiya

Hi folks...bear with me.. The mound is slowly dwindling. Soon I will divert to other veggies but for now the will to cook zucchini in various forms persists. 

Let's get to the dish at hand. Muthiyas are small mouthfuls of grated vegetables, mixed with spices and chickpea flour, rolled into cylinders, steamed and then shallow-fried. That's a mouthful alright. Sounds like many steps, but they go by fast. I grate a mound of zucchini. Salted and left to drip, the mound is converted into two items. The first is Smitten Kitchen's Summer Squash Pizza. The left overs are formed into muthiyas. Almost all the masalas in my spice box are sprinkled into the grated zucchini, along with fresh cilantro, green chiles and chickpea flour or besan. I form them into small cylinders. Placed on a steaming rack, they harden and cook for 15-20 minutes. A little patience and cooling lets the muthiya firm up. This is important as they need to be firm enough to cut each cylinder into thirds. Hot oil, mustard seeds and curry leaves bring out zucchini flavors as the muthiyas sizzle and brown.

Serves 4

1 large Zucchini 
1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
4 teaspoons Chickpea Flour
1/4 teaspoon Turmeric 
1/2 teaspoon Chile powder 
1/2 teaspoon Cumin powder 
1/2 teaspoon Coriander powder 
2 Green Chiles
1/2 cup Cilantro 
1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt 
2 tablespoons Canola Oil 
1/4 teaspoon Mustard seeds
5-6 Curry leaves

Grate zucchini. Put zucchini in a colander and sprinkle 1 teaspoon salt over it. Toss well and leave aside for 1 hour. Squeeze out as much liquid as you can from zucchini. Place squeezed zucchini in a bowl and fluff with a fork to loosen.

Add chickpea flour, turmeric, chile powder, cumin and coriander powder to zucchini. 

Mince chiles and cilantro finely and add to zucchini.

Season with salt and mix well using your hands.

Fill a wide saucepan  with an inch of water and place it on a high flame.

Put a steaming basket into the saucepan.

Form 3 inch cylinders of zucchini mix. You should have 6-7 pieces.

Place them on the steaming basket and cover saucepan with lid.

Steam over medium heat for 15-20 minutes.

Remove steaming basket and let cylinders cool for 1/2 hour. 

Gently place cylinders on cutting board and slice each one into thirds.

Heat canola oil in a nonstick pan. 

Drop mustard seeds and curry leaves into hot oil along with zucchini pieces.

Shallow fry till brown on both sides  so they are slightly crisp.

Serve them warm.

Zucchini is still popular at my table. Muthiyas make a delicious addition to dinner. No complaints on the various incarnations of zucchini to date, but I am beginning to hear faint rumblings of protest.

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