by Mamta Kacker Muttreja
“Aaj Humne Tinda ko bahut izzat bakshi”
In deference to the humble Indian Apple gourd
Golda Meir to her ministers “Don’t be humble, you’re not that great”
The crop of summer veggies are truly great; green, loaded with calcium, versatile and the best bit is that they have very low calorific value. They can be stuffed, curried, baked, pulsed, roasted, sautéed and cooked whole or chopped.
This recipe calls for saucing them in a spice infused tomato paste.
Tinda/apple gourd: half a Kg of tender golf ball size veggie
Tomato: 3/4 kg blanched and diced
Ginger garlic paste: 2 tsp
Bouquet Garnish: (comprising of 1 bay leaf, 4-5 pepper corns, 4-5 cloves, 1 black cardamom, 1 small stick of cinnamon)
Salt, red chili and turmeric to taste- I personally use turmeric very sparingly, as I find the flavor pretty overwhelming.
Veg oil of choice: 2 Tbsp
Fresh green coriander for garnishing
Scrape skin off the veggie lightly, scour the veggie with a cross mark taking care to not sever them totally. Add the oil to a non-stick pan and swirl to coat. Sweat the veggie on high flame so as to seal the flavor inside. Do not toss them around too much as they will open up like a flower and we need them to retain their round shape- you could always be creative while placing them on the serving platter, in case you do manage to open them up!
Remove from pan and keep aside.
In the same pan add the tomatoes and the ginger garlic paste. Cook on medium heat to soften the tomatoes. Drop in the Bouquet Garni, add the salt, chili powder and haldi. Cover the pan and reduce flame to low. Let it cook for 10-15 minutes or till the tomatoes leave the sides. Add the veggie and further cook for another 10 minutes on low flame. Shake the pan lightly a couple of times, avoid stirring to maintain the shape of the veggie. Remove from flame and discard the Bouquet Garni. Adjust the salt and chili as per taste. The sauce should be sharp, tangy and flavorful.
Plate the sauce onto a platter, and arrange the veggie and garnish with fresh coriander. Enjoy.