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indian dinner zucch 001

This week we had a confluence of two happy conditions.  The first is that the Captain loves to cook, and we both love to eat, Indian food. The second is that it is the start of Zucchini Season here in Liguria.  Our plants are just beginning to flower, but our friends are already picking their first zukes and cukes.

There was a joke in the town in Connecticut where we lived for many years.  It said that the only time you had to lock your car was when you went downtown in August because if you didn’t someone would throw in a bushel of bat-sized zucchini.  It certainly is a prolific plant (though we’ve suffered off-and-on mildew problems here in Rapallo), and the puzzle is always to find new ways to serve this summer staple.  It’s always great on the grill, but you don’t want to fire that up only for zucchini.  Zucchini cake is good, but doesn’t use up enough of the vegetable.

What to do?  The Captain googled ‘zucchini Indian’ and found a terrific Madhur Jaffrey recipe at recipezaar.com.  Like every good cook I know, though, he tweaked it to produce the gorgeous zucchini raita seen at the front of the plate above.  (The other two items are Murgh Khoobani, game hens braised in fragrant apricot sauce from Julie Sahni‘s book Classic Indian Cooking; and basmati rice with raisins, saffron and mint).

Although this recipe calls for cayenne pepper, you can leave it out altogether if you hate hot pepper, or you can add it in any amount you like to suit your appetite for heat.  You can find the recipe by clicking here, or over on the right under Recipes.