Zucchini and Capsicum Salad

Crunchy salads add a great contrasting texture to the dal or curries that we cook on a regular basis. At this point, you do not want a salad that has requires a lot of cutting and prep. A swish of oil, some easy-to-cook-vegetables and and a dash of lemon make this ‘Zucchini and Capsicum Salad’ a great choice. Having eaten Maharashtrian food quite a few times, I tossed in the peanuts to give it a koshimbir effect and the gamble paid off. This salad goes extremely well as a side with rotis. If you like cold salads, refrigerate and eat it the next day for breakfast as a topping on bruschetta!

Recipe Details :
Serves: 4 pax
Time: 20 mins
Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients :

  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • 1 capsicum, diced
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp peanuts, skin removed
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 green chilli, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp ginger, finely grated
  • 1/4 cup coriander, finely chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp lime/lemon juice (optional)

Zucchini and capsicum salad

Zucchini and capsicum salad


Method:

  • Take oil in a pan and heat it on medium flame. Add mustard seeds to it and wait till they splutter.
  • Reduce the flame, add in the peanuts and saute for around a minute.
  • Then add in the chopped onion, ginger and garlic. Cook until the onion turns translucent.
  • Next add in the zucchini and green chilli and mix well. Cook it for 5 mins without a lid.
  • Add the diced capsicum and salt and mix well. Let the capsicum cook for another 2 mins. Their crunch should be retained, so do not make them too soft.
  • Switch off the flame. Sprinkle the salad with lime juice and garnish with coriander. Serve hot with rotis as a side. If you make it in more quantity, this can substitute a sabzi too.

Tips:

  • If you don’t like large pieces of peanut in the salad, toast them separately and then break them up in a mortar and pestle / grinder. Sprinkle them on top of the salad before serving.
  • Don’t overcook the vegetables. You want them to have a crunch.
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Zucchini and Mint Raita

This Zucchini and Mint Raita is a cooling, healthy and delicious yogurt salad that acts as a perfect accompaniment to Veg Biryani or Pulao rice. The zucchini brings in some much needed crunch to the dish. In my case, it served as a easy replacement for cucumber since I didn’t have any stocked in the fridge. The addition of spices gives a zing to this delicious yogurt based dip. On that green note, wishing all the readers a Merry Christmas!

Recipe Details :
Serves: 2-3 pax
Time: 20 mins
Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients :

  • 1 zucchini, grated
  • 10 mint leaves
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt or homemade curd
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp freshly grated pepper
  • Salt to taste

Zucchini and mint raita

Zucchini and mint raita


Method:

  • Grate the zucchini on the largest grooves of the grater.
  • Finely chop the mint leaves (without the stem).
  • Whisk the yogurt until smooth.
  • Add a little salt and pepper to season the yogurt.
  • Now add the zucchini and mint to the whisked yogurt and mix well.
  • Refrigerate it for at least 30 mins.
  • Before serving, taste, and add salt and pepper according to your preference.
  • This raita is amazing to serve with rice preparations or rotis.

Tips:

  • You can add some spice to the raita by adding red chilli flakes.
  • Letting the raita sit in the fridge is important – preferably do not skip this step. It helps the flavours meld.

Cucumber and Carrot Pancakes

Most of the times we want a recipe for breakfast that’s quick to make and involves less prep work. This recipe fits those requirements to a T. Cucumbers are light on the stomach and healthy as well. I decided to use them as one of the main ingredients in a pancake batter. To give the entire dish some crunch and bite, I added in carrots as well. This recipe can be made into patties, which can be eaten plain or by keeping them in a sandwich along with some tomato ketchup. They can also be made in the bigger size which would be equivalent to a medium sized dosa. It turned out to be extremely delicious and it is one of my favourite breakfast recipes now. Sometimes I even make this for dinner along with a glass of buttermilk. I have tried this exact recipe replacing zucchini instead of cucumber and the result is equally fabulous.

Recipe Details :
Makes: 8 small pancakes or 4 large pancakes
Time: 30 mins
Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients :

  • 1 large cucumber, peeled and grated (approx 2 cups)
  • 1 large carrot, grated (approx 1 cup)
  • 1/2 cup Chickpea flour/ Besan
  • 1/4 cup rice flour
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 – 2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tbsp oil for 1 pancake for frying
  • Freshly chopped coriander
  • Salt to taste

Cucumber pancake small size

Cucumber and carrot pancake small size


Method:

  • Take a bowl and mix all the ingredients except the oil to make a batter. Keep in mind not to add water while mixing as the cucumber or zucchini will provide the required moisture.
  • Heat a non-stick pan on low-medium heat and grease its surface with a bit of oil.
  • Take 1/4 cup of the batter and place it on the pan. Press down on the batter gently with your fingers to spread it out in an evenly into a shape of your choice. Do not make it very thin. In case of a large pancake, do the same process using 1/2 a cup of batter.
  • Drizzle some oil on the top and sides of the pancake.
  • Cook until the base turns golden brown in colour.
  • Now turn the pancake over and cook on the other side and then remove it from the pan. Serve it along with toast, with accompaniments of chutney or ketchup (if required), and you are in for a delicious meal.
  • In case of a large pancake, it is heavy enough to serve as breakfast – even without toast. For an idea of the portion size, see the picture below
  • Cucumber  pancake large

    Cucumber and carrot pancake large size


Tips :

  • Do not sprinkle water while making the batter or while spreading the batter on the pan.
  • Don’t make the batter too early as the cucumber / zucchini will make the batter more loose as time passes.
  • If you do want to prep it in advance, use a little more besan and store it in the fridge.
  • Adjust the spices as per your taste levels. You can add finely chopped green chillies if you like it spicy.

Zucchini Masala Dosa

Zucchini is a variety of summer squash that is shaped like a cucumber and has dark green skin. Sounds boring, right? For me, it turned out to be a brilliant filling used with dosas. It also cut down the carbohydrates and acted as a perfect substitute for the traditional potatoes. This is a great variant on the standard Masala Dosa. Try it out – you may be pleasantly surprised.
Recipe for Zucchini Masala Dosa

Serves : 8-10 dosas
Ingredients :

Zucchini masala dosa ingredients

Zucchini masala dosa ingredients

  • 2 large zucchinis, cubed
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large tomato, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp garam masala powder
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 2 tbsp of freshly chopped coriander
  • Salt to taste
  • Lime to taste (optional)

Zucchini masala dosa

Zucchini masala dosa


Method:

  • Heat oil in a pan on a low flame. When it is warm, add the mustard seeds and wait till they splutter. Now add the finely chopped onions and sauté them till golden brown on medium flame.
  • Add the zucchini, tomatoes, the spices and salt. Stir well to combine. Sprinkle a little water at this stage.
  • Cover and cook the dish for 10 minutes till the zucchini is soft and switch off the flame.
  • Finally before serving, squeeze in some lime juice and garnish with coriander.

Tips :

  • Do not sprinkle too much water as the dosa will become soggy while serving.
  • Do not overcook the zucchini. If cooked too long, it will turn to mush.
  • Another side dish would be a nice add-on to the main dish. I had made coriander and coconut chutney as a side dish to complement the taste of zucchini.

This dish is inspired from a fellow food blogger who is also a consistent ‘Deelightfully Veg’ reader. Inspired from http://shivaaydelights.wordpress.com/2014/01/14/courgette-masala-dosa/