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Zucchini with Spiced Yogurt Dressing

Preparation Time25 min

Cooking Time15 min

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon salt, plus 1/4 teaspoon
  • 1 pound zucchini (2 medium), cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 3/4 cup plain low-fat yogurt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground roasted cumin seeds (see note)
  • 1/2 teaspoon brown or granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon brown mustard seeds

Instructions

  1. Bring 2 1/2 quarts of water to a rolling boil. Add 1 tablespoon salt, stir and put in the zucchini. Boil rapidly for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the zucchini are just done. Drain and leave to cool.
     
  2. Put the yogurt in a bowl and beat lightly with a fork until smooth. Add remaining salt, cayenne, roasted cumin, and sugar. Stir to mix.
     
  3. Heat the oil in a very small pan or skillet over fairly high heat. When very hot, add the mustard seeds. As soon as the mustard seeds begin to pop, this takes just a few seconds, pour the seeds and oil over the yogurt. Stir to mix.
     
  4. Gently fold the zucchini into the yogurt. Serve warm or cold.

Notes:

To Ground roasted cumin seeds:

  1. Place 3 to 4 tablespoons of whole cumin seeds into a heated, small cast iron skillet. Keep over medium heat.
     
  2. Stir the cumin until it is a few shades darker and emits a distinct roasted aroma.
     
  3. Grind in a clean and dry coffee grinder and store in a tightly lidded jar.

For garam masala:

  1.  Combine in a clean and dry coffee grinder 1 tablespoon ardamom seeds, 1 teaspoon whole cloves, 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns, 1 teaspoon whole black cumin seeds, 1 2-inch stick of cinnamon, 1/3 of a whole nutmeg, and a curl of mace.
     
  2. Grind until you have a fine powder. Store in a tightly lidded jar.

For Rai masala:

  1. Toast and grind 2 tablespoons whole coriander seeds, 1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds, 1 teaspoon whole fenugreek seeds, 1 teaspoon whole brown mustard seeds, 1 teaspoon whole peppercorns, 1 to 2 dried, hot, red chilies, and 5 whole cloves, using the same method as roasted cumin seeds.

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