In a previous recipe entry, I shared my Italian style stuffed zucchini. Last Friday, I cooked a special feast for my guru's mahasamadhi. I wanted to make stuffed vegetables from the garden's harvest. And as it was as Indian feast, I chose this recipe from Lord Krishna's Cuisine by Yamuna Devi.
We like stuffed zucchini so much, I grow round zucchinis specially for stuffing, allowing them to mature a bit more.
4 large zucchinis, each about 8" long
4 Tbsp. ghee
1-2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
Two thirds cup of buckwheat kasha
2 Tbsp. chopped cilantro
One and a third cups vegetable stock, boiling hot
One eighth tsp. cayenne pepper
A pinch of saffron
1 tsp. salt
Quarter cup slivered almonds
Pre-heat oven to 350 'F
1. Cut each zucchini in half lengthwise. If it's a mature zucchini, scrape out the seeds and pith and discard. Then scrape out most of the pulp, leaving a quarter inch shell. (if the zucchini is not mature, you just need to scrape out the pulp). Coarsely chop the pulp. Sprinkle the inside of the shells with salt and place upside down on paper towels. This pulls water out of the shell and prevents the dish getting mushy.
2. Heat the ghee in a pan and add the zucchini pulp and minced jalapenos. Fry until it softens and then add the kasha. Fry the kasha for 2-3 minutes and then add the cilantro, cayenne, saffron, salt and boiling vegetable stock. (I found I needed quite a bit more stock than the recipe indicated). Bring to the boil, cover, turn down and cook for about 25 minutes, until the kasha is soft.
3. Dry the zucchini boats with paper towels and spoon in the stuffing, distributing it evenly. Spread ghee across the top of each one and sprinkle with slivered almonds. Place in a baking dish and pour in a quarter inch of water.
4. Bake at 350'F for about 30 minutes, until the shells are fork-tender. Serve with home made tomato sauce.
8 plum tomatoes
3 tbsp ghee
1" fresh ginger, sliced
8-10 curry leaves
1 tsp. salt
Quarter tsp. cayenne pepper
The original recipe calls for a smooth tomato sauce. To make this, you need to peel, de-seed, chop and blend the tomatoes. Then fry the spices in ghee, add the tomato mixture and simmer 5-10 minutes to thicken. I opted for a chunky sauce, made by frying the tomatoes and spices in ghee and then simmering for a long while, adding water as needed. This was much slower but made a very nice, textured sauce.
The recipe was voted delicious by the fortunate guests!
Alakananda Ma M.B., B.S. (Lond.) is an Ayurvedic Doctor (NAMA) and graduate of a top London medical school. She is co-founder of Alandi Ayurveda Clinic and Alandi Ayurveda Gurukula in Boulder Colorado, as well as a spiritual mother, teacher, flower essence maker and storyteller. Alakananda is a well known and highly respected practitioner in the Ayurveda community both nationally and internationally.
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