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Zucchini with Yogurt Dressing

1 tablespoon salt, plus 1/4 teaspoon
1 pound zucchini (2 medium), cut into 1/2-inch dice
3/4 cup plain yogurt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
3/4 teaspoon ground roasted cumin seeds (see note)
1/2 teaspoon brown or granulated sugar
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon brown mustard seeds

Bring 2 1/2 quarts of water to a rolling boil. Add 1 tablespoon
salt, stir and put in the zucchini. Boil rapidly for 3 to 4 minutes,
or until the zucchini are just done. Drain and leave to cool.

Put the yogurt in a bowl and beat lightly with a fork until smooth.
Add remaining salt, cayenne, roasted cumin, and sugar. Stir to mix.

Heat the oil in a very small pan or skillet over fairly high heat.
When very hot, add the mustard seeds. As soon as the mustard seeds
begin to pop, this takes just a few seconds, pour the seeds and
oil over the yogurt. Stir to mix. Gently fold the zucchini into
the yogurt. Serve warm or cold.

Yield: 4 servings


Ground roasted cumin seeds, place 3 to 4 tablespoons of whole cumin
seeds into a heated, small cast iron skillet. Keep over medium
heat. Stir the cumin until it is a few shades darker and emits a
distinct roasted aroma. Grind in a clean and dry coffee grinder
and store in a tightly lidded jar.

For garam masala, combine in a clean and dry coffee grinder 1
tablespoon ardamom seeds, 1 teaspoon whole cloves, 1 teaspoon whole
black peppercorns, 1 teaspoon whole black cumin seeds, 1 2-inch
stick of cinnamon, 1/3 of a whole nutmeg, and a curl of mace. Grind
until you have a fine powder. Store in a tightly lidded jar.

Rai masala, toast and grind 2 tablespoons whole coriander seeds,
1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds, 1 teaspoon whole fenugreek seeds, 1
teaspoon whole brown mustard seeds, 1 teaspoon whole peppercorns,
1 to 2 dried, hot, red chilies, and 5 whole cloves, using the same
method as roasted cumin seeds.


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