Saturday, November 23, 2013

Usha Aunty's Zucchinni chutney

Thanksgiving is around the corner and the air is festive. The grocery store was crowded but I quite enjoyed the hustle and bustle- seeing people consulting lists and pile up their carts with yams, green beans, cranberries and potatoes; bumping into people I know and overhearing recipes exchanged.
I am looking forward to family visiting and sitting around, talking and eating.I thought I would get some dips and sauces made early; make a couple of loaves of pumpkin bread, soak and cook beans and lentils and wing the rest.
Usha Aunty is my great aunt and one of the most inventive cooks I know- she made "pheni" all by herself for her daughter's wedding with some kind of noodles she found at the oriental store. This Zucchinni chutney is nothing short of brilliant- it is really simple to make and the delicate flavor of the Zucchinni shines through. I have made one small addition: Pepitas to add nutiness and some body to the chutney.

You can use it as a dip, toss it with pasta or use as a sandwich spread or serve with some roasted potatoes.
2 medium sized Zuchinni
2 cloves garlic
3 Serrano peppers
11/2 tsp cumin seeds
1- 2 tbsp of neutral oil
1/4 cup Pepitas

Wash the Zuchinni and chop into discs or half moons about an inch thick. Peel the garlic and chop roughly. Halve the peppers.

Heat oil in a wide frying pan or wok on high. You want a pan large enough that the Zuchinni will fit in a single layer.Add the cumin seeds.

 When the cumin crackles add the peppers and saute for a minute or two until they start to blister. . Bring the heat down to medium high. Add the Zucchinni, garlic and the Pepitas together. Toss to coat with oil and spread the Zuchinni out in a single layer. Resist the temptation to stir - you want the Zuchinni to brown. Stir when you see the Zuchinni just starting to perspire (3 minutes). Add salt to taste and turn off the heat.

Let cool and blend in a food processor or blender.  Keeps in an air tight container in the fridge for 3 days.


  1. This is such a great idea -- zucchini chutney, who would have thought? Your Usha aunty sounds like an amazing cook. This is bookmarked. Happy thanksgiving, Ambica.

    1. Vaishali,
      Thank you for your kind words. Happy Thanksgiving to you too.