Monday, June 22, 2009

Modern Spice Virtual Dinner Party: Pan-fried Zucchini and Yellow Squash with Cumin

Early on in May, I wrote about the lovely chickpea crepe recipe from Monica Bhide's new cookbook, Modern Spice. Now, I'm happy to have another opportunity to talk about another one of Monica's recipes.

Today is the Modern Spice Virtual Dinner Party, in which 25 bloggers from the around the world cooked dishes from Modern Spice, all of which are posted on Monica's website, A Life of Spice. (Just looking at the list and all the photos makes me hungry.)

My contribution was the Pan-fried Zucchini and Yellow Squash with Cumin:

What I liked about this was that it reminded me that a quick side dish can still have a lot of zip to it. This recipe is easy, tasty and adaptable, not to mention healthy. I think it would be lovely with fish or as part of a larger vegetarian meal. Now that I've made it once according to the recipe, I'm looking forward to playing with it--trying it with mustard seeds, for example, or adding some onion and garlic. It's lovely as is, though, and a great way to use summer vegetables (especially if you were overenthusiastic in your zucchini planting).

Pan-Fried Zucchini and Yellow Squash with Cumin

Monica writes, "This has got to be one of my favorite Monday night recipes, because it’s so simple and quick. You can vary the taste by changing the spice from cumin to coriander or mustard seeds. I don’t peel the zucchini but you can if you prefer."

Serves 4
Prep/Cook time: 15 minutes

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1⁄2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1 large zucchini, diced
1 small yellow squash, diced
1⁄2 organic red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1⁄2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1⁄2 teaspoon red chile flakes
Table salt
1⁄2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Fresh cilantro leaves for garnish

1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the cumin seeds. When the seeds begin to sizzle, add the zucchini, squash, and bell pepper.
2. Fry the vegetables over high heat until they soften and begin to brown, 8 to 9 minutes.
3. Add the turmeric and chile flakes and cook for another minute, until the spices are well mixed with the vegetables. Stir in salt to taste.
4. Serve hot, sprinkled with lemon juice and garnished with cilantro.


Christie's Corner said...

I tried this dish when I was reviewing the book. It's a lovely bright addition to a meal. Glad you joined the pot luck. Just wish we could have all gathered in person.

Kelsey B. said...

This looks awesome! I can't wait to try it at home!

Lisa said...

Oh, that looks good. Is the cumin heavy? Lately I've been ODing a bit on cumin and have been cutting back on amounts so that I get just a touch of the flavor but not, you know, a top note.