Seasonal Recipes

zucchini in herby coconut curry


1/2 cup unsweetened grated coconut (fresh, frozen, or dried)
1 tablespoon fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon cumin seed
1 1/2 teaspoons black mustard seeds
half teaspoon freshly grated turmeric or 1/4 teaspoon powder
1 garlic clove
2 or 3 Indian green chiles or serrano chiles
1 cup coriander leaves and tender stems
half bunch seasonal greens finely chopped
2 cups plain yogurt , lightly beaten by hand
3 green zucchini
teaspoons oil
1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds
pinch of asafetida (hing) powder *optional
1 sprig curry leaves (about 20 leaves)
sea salt
cooked brown rice, for serving
chopped coriander leaves, for garnish
  1. To make the curry sauce: Thaw frozen coconut or place dried coconut in a little hot water to plump it up.
  2. In a blender or stick blender, grind the cumin seeds, black mustard seeds, ginger turmeric, garlic and grind. Have about 1 cup of water by the blender. Next, grind the coconut and green chiles, adding a little water to help the blades along. Then add the coriander and slowly add just enough water to keep the blender blades moving, about 1/2 cup, depending on the size of your blender container. Grind until you have a smooth paste, add the yoghurt. Blend well so that all of the paste is incorporated.
  3. Cut the zucchini in quarters and slice. 
  4. In a sauté pan, fit a steamer with water at a level that is just below the steamer and not touching it. Place the zucchini in the steamer basket. Cover and steam over medium heat until just tender, about 10 minutes. Immediately immerse the zucchini in a bowl of cold water to avoid overcooking.
  5. Put the oil in the sauté pan over medium heat. When the oil is hot and shimmering, add one black mustard seed. When the seed sizzles and pops, add the remaining mustard seeds and the asafetida. Keep a lid handy to cover the pan while the mustard seeds are popping. When the popping starts to subside (a few seconds), turn the heat to medium-low. Rub the curry leaves between your fingers a little to release their natural oils, and drop them and the dried red chile into the oil. Cover immediately, as moisture from the curry leaves will cause the oil to spatter. Then stir to evenly coat everything with oil, a few seconds.
  6. Mix the steamed zucchini and chopped greens into the pan. Next, add the curry sauce and 1 teaspoon salt. Turn the heat to medium. You want the mixture to boil once. When it does, turn it off.
  7. Taste for salt and adjust as needed. Garnish with coriander leaves. 

Serve with rice.
  8. The dish is served either just prepared or chilled. If eating the next day, do not reheat before serving.