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Hi, I'm Jaden, a professional recipe developer, food columnist and food photographer specializing in fast, fresh and easy recipes for the home cook. Most of my recipes are modern Asian! About meFast, fresh & easy recipes for the home cook.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Zucchini with Lentils and Roasted Garlic

 This handsome man is Hari Nayak, the man responsible for getting me comfortable cooking Indian food. I think what intimidated me all these years was the long list of spices listed in most traditional Indian recipes. I remember watching a television special on Indian cuisine, and I thought to myself that an Indian chef is like an artist, the spices on the tray the paint. A two-finger pinch of this, a spoonful of that, a 3-finger pinch of the other.

Hari and I got to know each other through his first book, Modern Indian Cooking (check out the Sparkling Ginger Lime CoolerSweet Yogurt Sundae with Saffron and Pomegranate and Scallop Salad with Sweet Vanilla Chili Dressing) that really made Indian recipes within reach for me with simple ingredients found in any grocery store and just a few spices that I already had on hand.
I introduced him to the publisher of Steamy Kitchen Cookbook and look! Now he’s the proud author of My Indian Kitchen with Tuttle Publishing.

The recipe we chose to share is this Zucchini with Lentils and Roasted Garlic, simple and healthy!

Other recipes that caught my eye in the My Indian Kitchen book:

- Spiced Meatballs that are pan fried in oil infused with cinnamon sticks and cardamom pods.
– Spicy Coconut Green Beans
– Street Style Corn on the Cob
– Tandoori Skewered Shrimp
– Indian-Style Fried Rice

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Zucchini with Lentils and Roasted Garlic

Servings: Serves 6 Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 45 minutes
Zucchini with Lentils and Roasted Garlic Recipe

Recipe by Hari Nayak, My Indian Kitchen

The combination of lentils, vegetables, garlic and cumin gives this satisfying side dish a unique flavor that goes perfectly with Plain Basmati Rice or Whole-Wheat Griddle Bread . To make it a meal i suggest adding a stir fried shrimp or chicken curry along side this dish. If zucchini is not available, use any other common squashes such as summer squash or calabash, aka bottle gourd. The addition of lentils in this dish makes it a nutritious main dish for vegetarians with rice or bread and a raita or plain yogurt.

Ingredients:

1 cup (175 g) yellow mung lentils, rinsed and drained
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
2 teaspoon salt
4 cups (1 liter) water
2 tablespoons oil
6 large garlic cloves, crushed
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 small onion (about ¼ lb/125 g), thinly sliced
4 small zucchini (about 1 lb/500 g), cut into ¼-in (6-mm)-thick half-moons
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon paprika
2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander leaves (cilantro)

Directions:

1. Place the lentils, turmeric, salt and water in a large saucepan. Bring it to boil, skimming off any surface scum that collects on the top. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the lentils are cooked, about 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer to a serving bowl. Cover the bowl and keep warm.
2. In a medium saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté until golden brown. Add the cumin seeds—they should sizzle upon contact with the hot oil. Quickly add the onion and zucchini and cook for 10 to 15 minutes.
3. Add the ground coriander and cumin and continue to cook until the zucchini is cooked, about 10 minutes.
4. Remove the pan form the heat, add the paprika, and immediately pour over the hot lentils. Swirl lightly to mix and sprinkle on the fresh coriander leaves. Serve with your choice of Indian breads or rice.



20 Responses to “Zucchini with Lentils and Roasted Garlic”

  1. Bev Weidner — 10/5/11 @ 1:32 pm

    Oh….I can’t breathe. This has made me speechless, too.

    I need to rest.

    Y.U.M.

  2. Such delicious yet delicate ingredients. Drool-worthy :)

  3. Lady Amalthea — 10/5/11 @ 8:20 pm

    This sounds divine. I first got into lentils when eating them in Indian food, so I’m always searching for new combinations!

  4. Yeah baby! I MUST conquer the way to properly prepare lentils. Mine go just over that delicate line from firm to mush. Then it’s like “grab the emulsion blender! I ruined another batch!” :-)

  5. Katrina — 10/6/11 @ 8:17 am

    These sound absolutely lovely. Can’t wait to try!

  6. Beachcomber — 10/6/11 @ 2:58 pm

    Yum this sounds really good. Lentils are one of my favorites dishes.

  7. Juan — 10/7/11 @ 10:01 am

    Not to heavy and very healthy, this is definitely on the “have to try” list.

  8. Juan — 10/7/11 @ 10:02 am

    Just throw on a boat load of hot sauce and then everyone’s eyes are watering so much that they don’t even notice the texture :)

  9. Chris — 10/8/11 @ 3:45 pm

    Wow! This sounds like a good vegan dish to try out! Thanks for sharing!

  10. This looks like a perfect dish. Love the simple ingredients and all those spices! I have some mung bean lentils…I just might have to try this!

  11. William — 10/9/11 @ 7:33 am

    I made this today and used too many green lentils (had a 250 gram bag). Mistake. It came out tasting like cumin lentils. Before I added the lentils to the zucchini, tasted great. Do not use too many lentils, in fact will reduce when I make this again. Would be good to add tomatoes as well I think. If you like spicy food, perhaps throw some heat in there as well. Overall, good dish. I will make it again. I ate it with rice and have enough left over for 2 more meals.

  12. Chris — 10/9/11 @ 11:40 am

    Yep, I’d start with something safe like this before branching out into the more exotic dishes. I’ve only tried my hand at Indian dishes 2 or 3 times but didn’t have a lot of guidance. This book sounds good for the uninitiated like myself.

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  14. imee — 10/11/11 @ 3:03 am

    Hi Jaden, i’m into quinoa this days, is it ok to replace lentils for quinoa?

  15. I love zucchini and I know only 1 way to make it and after seeing this recipe…I am so ecstatic! Cannot wait to try this one out and surprise the family!

  16. Ciara — 6/21/13 @ 2:54 pm

    I made this tonight for me and my parents. It was lovely and they were both really impressed. I strongly recommend you give it a go.

    Tips: I added chilli powder because I like that extra kick.

  17. Baixar Sertanejo — 11/22/13 @ 9:39 pm

    I love zucchini and I know only 1 way to make it and after seeing this recipe…I am so ecstatic! Cannot wait to try this one out and surprise the family!

  18. Manfred — 5/30/14 @ 1:59 pm

    A nutritious dish, but not quite what i was hoping for. I will try to add some ginger and red pepper to it. Especially pepper can make it more fresh. I’m making this today.

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