High drama as peak courgette season kicks in…

I love courgettes… I like them raw grated or sliced in salads or in sandwiches, a lightly pickled in a light vinegar – just for a couple of hours, along with whatever spices I fancy, I like them cooked in any of a dozen different way – but maybe my favourite is as fritters which i first had in Greece many many years ago. I keep meaning to try making cakes with them – I’ve even plenty but never tried baking one. A couple of days ago I wrote about the new trend of having courgette guacamole – due, apparently because of the world wide shortage and high prices of avocados.

So having said that, it always surprises me that other people feel overwhelmed by them when it’s their season. I did try growing them myself a couple of times… very unsuccessfully, so to be honest I’ve never had a courgette glut to have to deal with. I’m never short of ideas of how to use/cook them. but always appreciate a new recipe.

I have a very kind friend who recently sent me some recipes she’d cut out from a newspaper for unusual jams – since I’ve been writing about jams/jellies/conserves/preserves. The recipes she sent really do sound lovely, and very different – gooseberry and camomile jam, peach and lemon thyme jam, raspberry and cacao nib jam and strawberry lemon marmalade. They all sound so delicious I can’t decide which to try making first!! On the back of the page was another recipe – not for jam but for courgette and chickpea dal… two of my favourite food items!!

The recipe from Meera Sodha sounds so easy and so delicious, I’m going to try it tomorrow. Someone else sent me a recipe for a salmon dish and i think the dal would match perfectly. It seems so simple, chickpeas, courgettes, tomatoes, spices (black mustard seeds, fenugreek, turmeric, chilli, cumin, coriander seeds) … what could be easier?! I think this is going to become a favourite!

My title comes from Meera who explains that her recipe is a version of a traditional Gujerati dish, lauki chana dal which didn’t use courgettes but bottle gourds and and chana dal. Meera has a new book, East: 120 Vegetarian and Vegan recipes from Bangalore to Beijing.

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