As a child, I passionately hated courgettes (better known as Tori in Punjab and Nenua in Bihar).  My first reaction at the sight of this vegetable was EEOOWWW!!

On the other hand if there was any vegetable that my dad loved with absolute passion, you guessed it right, it was the courgettes. To my utter horror, he planted the vine in the vegetable garden so he could have an unfailing stock of the vegetable (all the more reason for me to hate it even more). I suffered relentlessly through out the summers at the hands of this vegetable- day in day out!

Post marriage, when my mother-in-law made this vegetable, I very candidly told her that this was one vegetable that I couldn’t stand the sight of. She insisted that I at least taste her preparation and trying not to offend her, I obliged and I am glad I did that. Her preparation with black gram gave a completely different spin to the vegetable and it tasted so well!!

Now I eagerly want to share her simple yet tasty recipe. This preparation is loaded with iron and beneficial for those who want to raise the level of their haemoglobin.

1 generous pinch of cumin seeds
1 generous pinch of mustard seeds
1 pinch of fenugreek seeds
2 green chillies (split)
1 small onion (finely chopped)
½ tsp ginger (finely chopped)
½ tsp garlic (finely chopped)

½ kg courgettes (tori) – peeled and chopped in small size
1 fist-full black grams (soaked overnight)
1 tbsp of mustard oil
Salt to taste
½ tsp or less red chilli powder (if the green chillies are hot, you need to reduce the amount of red chillies)
½ tsp turmeric powder
½ tsp garam masala powder
½ tsp coriander powder
Fresh green coriander for garnish (optional)

Pressure-cook the black grams with a glass of water in a pressure cooker.

Heat an iron wok and pour the oil in it. Once it starts to smoke, add the cumin, mustard and fenugreek seeds. Then carefully add the green chillies.

Now, add the finely chopped onion, ginger and garlic and when the onion turns translucent, add the chopped courgettes along with the black grams and its water. Stir together the ingredients and cover the wok with a lid.

When the vegetable is half cooked, add salt and turmeric powder. Cook further and later add the red chilli powder and coriander powder.

Once all water is absorbed & the vegetable has lost its firmness and the black grams done, add the garam masala powder.

Transfer to the serving bowl and sprinkle with fresh green coriander.

You can serve it with chapatti or rice.

P.S. – For serving it with rice, add water to the vegetable and let it simmer for a while. 

This preparation takes a good 30 minutes to cook on low flame so that all ingredients are well incorporated. But on the flip side, you can do other household chores while it cooks.  

Serves 3

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