Round and spicy – Stuffed round zucchini with curried lentils
Rondes et épicées – Courgettes rondes farcies de lentilles au curry
Another version of stuffed zucchini, those are the round kind and this recipe has a little exotic twist with the curry and other spices in it. I think this kind of zucchini is really made to be stuffed, they have a very inviting belly. I don’t think I have ever prepared them in any other different way.
I had some clients who did not like any stuffed vegetable, so I ended up not cooking those anymore, and not even for myself. The thing is when you have some clients who eat in a particular way, and for whom you cook on regular basis, you end up eating like them. One sure thing is that I cannot eat the same dish and food over and over again, and I know many people who are just happy eating the same thing for weeks. I would go insane, my food is like my life it needs to be colorful, and needs to be changing, have different flavors, smells, feelings.
You can use the green lentils as well for this dish. I had French lentils, so I used those. I didn’t like lentils when I was young, I think for kids they fell in the same category than spinach, unappealing food. Eventually, you come out of it, I can say I am glad my parents exposed me to different ingredients and somehow pushed me to try new things. My family was not very wealthy, they moved from Italy to France and financially they were struggling when I was a child but we always had fresh and healthy food from the garden that my grandpa used to grow.
Ingredients for 4 zucchini
- 4 zucchini
- 11 oz cooked green lentils (1/3 less when uncooked)
- 1 shallot, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 inch ginger, grated
- 1 tsp curry powder
- 1/2 tsp cumin powder
- 1/3 tsp turmeric
- chili powder
- 1 tbs cilantro, chopped
- 1 scallion, chopped
- 3 tsp plain yogurt
- 1 tbs olive oil
- salt and pepper
Wash the zucchini, cut the top part and remove the pulp with a teaspoon, leave about less than 0.20 inches or 1/2 cm on the outside. Add salt and pepper in the center, sprinkle with olive oil and place in a tray in a 375F preheated oven and covered with aluminum foil. Cook for about 15-20 minutes but do not overcook, the zucchini still needs to remain firm. Chop the pulp of the zucchini in small pieces. Set aside.
Cook lentils in three time their quantity of water for about 20 minutes or until they’re cooked. Drain. Set aside
In a pan, heat olive oil, add shallot, brown them, then add ginger and garlic. Stir for a few minutes, then add zucchini pulp and cook until the pulp softens. Add curry powder, and all other spices. Stir well and cook for another 5 minutes at low heat. Remove from heat and add lentils, salt and pepper. Mix well. Add cilantro and scallion, then add yogurt. Mix well.
Stuff zucchini with lentil mixture and place in the oven for another 15-20 minutes.
Serve hot with a salad or as a side dish.
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