Zucchini with Lentils and Roasted Garlic
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.
- 1 cup (175 g) yellow mung lentils, rinsed and drained
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 4 cups (1 liter) water
- 2 tbsp oil
- 6 large cloves garlic, 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
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander leaves (cilantro)
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.
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 5 minutes, until onion soft and zucchini is cooked, but not mushy.
Add the ground coriander and cumin.
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.