I have not used zucchini in a while! Strange!! I generally buy zucchinis when I have a hectic week! Zucchini is super nutritious, easy and quick to cook and it also pairs well with any kind of flavor. If you have not already checked it out, I have two other great zucchini recipes on the blog – Zucchini Stir Fry(Palya/Poriyal) and Zucchini Yogurt Dip(Raitha)!
By the end of last week, somehow I ended up with just a couple of zucchinis left over in the refrigerator! I am not sure if it was poor planning or I was on a veggie eating spree the whole week!! I wanted to use the zucchinis to make a really filling dish. So I combined them with lentils 🙂 I used tomatoes and onions to make a gravy. And a winter meal has to feature ginger and pepper right? The slight spiciness added by both to any soup/stew is amazing 🙂 And I put in some garlic and jalapeno too 😀 The whole house was filled with the most delicious aroma!! By the way, you can tweak this a little and use all your favorite fall veggies! I think butternut squash or pumpkin would go well with this too! This can be served with rice, quinoa or a side with Indian bread. You can adjust the consistency and even make it a vegetable lentil soup 🙂
What I like most about recipes like this is that it is so easy to put together even on a weeknight. Throw in everything in a pan and let it cook. I generally plan ahead for some simple weeknight dinners and that really ensures that I am not eating out too often. With some planning, eating healthy is not too difficult, right? 😉
- 1 cup brown lentils
- 1 medium sized tomato
- 1/2 large onion
- 1/2 jalapeño (adjust according to taste)
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 inch ginger
- 10 whole black pepper
- 1/4 tsp red chili powder (optional – for extra heat)
- 1/4 tsp turmeric (optional)
- 1 tsp oil
- 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
- Salt to taste
- juice from 1 lemon
Preparation Time: 5 min
Cooking Time: 35 min
- Wash the brown lentils thoroughly a couple of times in cold water.
- Take a large saucepan (something deep will be good). Heat 1 tsp oil in it. Once the oil is hot, add the cumin seeds. Let it brown a little.
- Then add the washed lentils to the pan and add 1 cup water. Keep it on high heat and let the water start boiling. Then reduce the flame to low and close a lid and let it cook slowly. In between, check on the lentils, stir it around and add water as required.
- Meanwhile, chop the tomato and onion roughly. Add it to a blender jar. Add the jalapeño, pepper, garlic and ginger too. Grind it to a smooth paste. Add this ground paste to the lentils. Add water if required and let the lentils cook further. I don’t like the the final dish to be too watery. You can adjust the consistency as you like.
- Chop the zucchinis into medium sized pieces. (If the pieces are too small, the zucchini will blend into the lentils and won’t add any texture.)
- After about 20 mins, the lentils should be 3/4th cooked. Add in the cooked zucchini at this stage. Add salt to taste. Add in the turmeric powder and chill powder too (if using). Give everything a good mix and let it cook on medium heat for about 10 minutes. Check in between and stir to prevent it from getting burnt at the bottom.
- Once the zucchini gets soft, use a spatula to lightly mash the lentils and some of the zucchini. That will give a thick consistency. Turn off the heat once the zucchini and lentils are cooked. Add in the lime juice and mix well. Adjust salt and spice to taste. Garnish with some freshly ground black pepper or chopped cilantro and serve hot! 🙂