A few months back, Rushina - who runs an awesome cooking studio and is a cookbook author herself - launched a cook book club. It's basically a book club for foodies. Every month, there is an event where Rushina invites a cookbook author, we chat and we cook some and then we eat all the awesome food from the author's book that Rushina's team made.
Because the authors are obviously super knowledgable about whatever cuisine they wrote their book on, I always come back with nuggets of information and new techniques. Last month, we had India's favourite foodie, Kunal Vijaykar, come and chat about his book 'Made in India'. As Kunal made a chicken curry and a delicious fish dish, we got talking about the coconut based curries, which Kunal claims are the only real curries, as opposed to the tomato based gravies of North India.
Now I am a huge fan of our traditional onion and tomato based dishes but Kunal's cooking had me intrigued. His chicken curry had garlic and coconut but no onion and yet it yielded a super flavourful, thickish gravy. Because I don't eat chicken, I've taken the same curry and made it with zucchini and baby corn. You can substitute any vegetable of your choice; I think this will also be great with beans, cauliflower and broccoli.
1 small zucchini
60 grams fresh grated coconut (you can substitute with desiccated coconut)
3 cloves garlic, peeled and finely minced
1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
5-7 curry leaves
1 tsp cumin seeds
Hearty pinch of asafoetida
1 tbsp white vinegar
Salt (I used 1/2 tsp)
Cut the zucchini into cubes and baby corn into similarly sized pieces. Heat oil and add asafoetida and cumin seeds. Wait half a minute until the seeds start to splatter, then add the ginger and garlic. As the garlic and ginger start to brown, add the curry leaves and coconut. Saute for 2-3 minutes until the coconut starts smelling toasty, then add vinegar, turmeric, chilli powder, black pepper and salt.
Add the chopped vegetable and stir for a minute, then add 1 cup water. Bring to a boil, the reduce the heat and let simmer for 15-20 minutes until the vegetables are cooked through and the curry thickens. The curry goes well with rice but because Kunal calls it 'Bombay Curry', it's only appropriate that you serve it with pao or some crusty bread.