Archives for posts with tag: salan

I know you all are probably sick of hearing, “here’s another unique zucchini recipe for you.”  I am.  I’ve had enough frittatas, galettes, and zucchini bread/muffins/cookies, you get the picture.  Maybe you are even tired of eating zucchini, it is after all September!  Despite all of this, I’m going to throw another zucchini recipe at you.  It’s super quick, easy, flavorful, and all of those other clichéd adjectives.

Plus, it is economical.  I feel as though I sound like a food personality full of gimmicks.  Trust me, I am not and I just want to share this dish with you all.  Sometimes, my mind goes out of the practical zone and dreams of buying caviar, foie gras, fine cheeses, truffles, and the like.  Then, I snap myself back to reality and remember that I am not working (yet!) and my husband is an overworked and underpaid medical student.

Pakistani food doesn’t break the bank for us.  When I’m trying to budget (which, is rarely successful) I proclaim that I am only cooking Pakistani food.  The spices are reasonable if you buy them at a Pakistani or Indian grocer and the other ingredients are basic pantry staples.  This dish would be even more economical if you have a garden and it grows copious amounts of zucchini.

I love how the zucchini in this dish gets almost caramelized with the onions and tomatoes, creating an almost chutney-like consistency.  You can use this recipe as a template for many other vegetables: eggplant, okra, potatoes, green beans.  I serve this dish with a huge spoonful of yogurt, the yogurt mellows out the spices and adds creaminess.  Whether or not you are sick of zucchini,  the spices in this dish will revive your passion for late summer produce.

Pakistani-Style Zucchini

Serves 3 as a main, 4 as a side

Ingredients

2-3 tablespoons canola oil, or any other neutral-flavored vegetable oil

4 medium-size zucchini, peeled and cut into thin half-moons

1 red onion, thinly sliced

2 ripe and juicy tomatoes, chopped

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric

1/4 teaspoon red chili powder, or to taste

1/4-1/2 teaspoon crushed red chilies, or to taste

1 teaspoon salt, or to taste

juice of 1/2 a lime, optional

1-2 sliced green chilies, for garnish

10 springs of cilantro, chopped, for garnish

Method

Heat the oil in a large pan on medium heat, add the red onions and allow them to cook until they just begin to lightly turn brown, about 5-7 minutes.  At this point, add in the tomatoes and stir with the onions for 2 minutes.  Then, add in the spices and cook the rawness out of the spices.  Next, add in the zucchini and mix for 5 minutes.  Cover the pan and allow the zucchini to cook for an additional 20-25 minutes until the zucchini wilts down and the oil begins to separate from the zucchini.  Squeeze on the juice of the lime and garnish with the green chilies and cilantro.  Serve with roti, chapati, or naan.

Advertisement

My husband always requests this dish.  He has his set in stone favorites and maybe it is a good thing that he knows what he likes.   Chickpeas stew (channay ka salan) is a favorite of his.  My sister and I tease him with the nickname, “woohoo, channay.”  Okay, you might think we are completely bonkers, but there is a reason why we call him that.  About 3 years ago, at his sister’s wedding, my sister, my husband, and I were at the dinner buffet and my husband spotted this dish in the lineup and exclaimed, “woohoo, channay!!!”  My sister and I looked at each other in utter amazement.  Out of all the dishes, he was most excited about the chickpeas.  I was drooling over the biryani and the haleem.  The chickpeas were an afterthought to me.  Partially, because this dish is something I can easily prepare at home with almost no effort.

You could say it is good for me that he likes this dish so much.  It is so easy to prepare, much like many Pakistani dishes.  I do not post too many Pakistani dishes (although, I do cook them frequently), because a lot of them have the same ingredients with a different protein and/or vegetable combination.  I am not that adept at making some of the more difficult ones, yet.  Any Pakistanis reading this might also be unimpressed because this is a basic home-cooking recipe that xyz million people can make blindfolded.  It is also very hard to get these items to look pretty, because most dishes are stewed.  Hopefully, this one appeals to your senses!

My husband says I never give him credit for helping me choose dishes to make, so here I am giving him full credit.  Hopefully, he will be happy with this.  He will probably mock me and say, “out of all your entries, you give me a tribute in your chickpeas post!”  To this I will respond, “you were the one who ‘woohoo-ed’ over them.”

In my family, this dish is usually served for brunch, but it is also great for dinner!  Enjoy!

Spicy  Stewed Chickpeas

Serves 2-3

Ingredients

vegetable oil

3 cups of cooked chickpeas (soaked then boiled in water with a pinch of baking soda until tender)

1 medium-sized red onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, chopped finely (optional and not necessary)

1 large tomato, chopped (I prefer to purée the tomato, but chopped is fine)

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1/4 teaspoon turmeric

3/4 teaspoon red chili powder, or to taste

1/2 teaspoon garam masala powder, homemade is best

salt to taste

water

long green chilies (available at Indian/Pakistani grocery store and even at regular grocery stores, they are usually about 3 inches long and thin).

handful of cilantro, chopped

a few slices of red onion, for garnish

a little extra garam masala, for garnish

Method

Heat some oil (about 2-3 tablespoons) on medium heat in a medium-sized pot.  Add in the onions and cook until light brown, about 7 minutes.  Make sure they are not too brown, just about to turn light brown.  Add in the garlic, if you re using it and allow it to melt in with the onions.  Next add the chopped tomatoes and fry for a minute or so.  Add all the spices and allow the raw taste to cook out of the spices, about 2 minutes.  Add in the chickpeas and mix around so that everything is distributed.  Add in some water, the amount is up to you, the water will evaporate.  You can add more water as it is cooking if you do not like the consistency.  I would start with 2 cups.  Cook on medium-low heat until you do not see any individual pieces of tomatoes or onion.  The gravy should be uniform.  This will take 30-45 minutes.  About 10 minutes before it is ready I like to throw in a whole green chili for some extra flavor.  Garnish with chopped green chilies, cilantro, sliced red onion, and a sprinkling of garam masala.  Serve with fresh naans or roti.  If you are feeling decadent then try paratha or poori.