We are flooded in and the chooks, who hate wet weather, are very miserable. But we are safe, have plenty of food and firewood and, with the new power system, even plenty of electricity. So I’ve had a lovely day playing in the kitchen rather than the garden, and we had our neighbours (who are also flooded in, same side of the creek to us) over for a long late Sunday lunch.
I spent a couple of hours making corn vadai and azuki vadai and eggplant and beetroot pakora and zucchini muthia, and I really needn’t have bothered cos there were two clear favourites on the platter, and they were the quickest and easiest ones – the muthia and the pakoras.
This is the third of my “Food to Share” series, a South Indian platter inspired by the ginger and turmeric and chilies going nuts in the midsummer garden. This one has:
- Corn Vadai – little patties made with corn, lentils and spices
- Azuki Vadai – made with ground soaked brown snake bean seeds and spices
- Eggpant pakora – just thin eggplant slices dipped in pakora batter and fried
- Beetroot pakora – grated beet mixed with pakora batter and fried
- Zucchini muthia – steamed zucchini and besan (bean flour) patties
- Coriander mint dipping sauce
- Hot Mango and Tomato Chutney
- Green Mango Pickles in Oil
- Fresh cherry tomatoes and sliced cucumber
All made from things that are so in season they are in glut in my garden.
Zucchini Muthia Recipe:
Grate two overfull cups of zucchini and put in a colander over the sink. Let it drain for a few minutes, pressing and squeezing to get excess liquid out.
In a bowl, mix
- 2 cups of drained grated zucchini
- ½ cup besan (bean flour)
- 2 dessertspoons plain wholemeal flour
- 1 scant teaspoon of cumin seed
- 1 teaspoon grated fresh turmeric (or substitute ½ teaspoon dried)
- 2 medium to mild chilis, finely chopped (more or less depending on how hot you like it)
- a handful of herbs, finely chopped. Coriander, fennel, or Thai basil all work in different ways.
- pinch salt
- juice of half a lemon
- 2 dessertspoons oil
Use your hands to mix, squeezing the mixture together.
Use wet hands to shape into 14 little patties. They should be a bit sticky but able to be made into patties. If they are too sticky, add some more besan.
Steam the patties for around 20 minutes, till they a skewer comes out clean. You can make them ahead up to this point, and they will keep in the fridge for several days.
In a little oil in a frypan, pop ½ teaspoon of mustard seeds. Add a little finely diced chili, if you like spiciness (or not) and a couple of dessertspoons of sesame seeds.
Add the steamed muthia and fry for a few minutes till they start to colour. The sesame seeds will stick to them.
Serve hot with chutney or pickles or dipping sauce.