Monday, August 6, 2012

Summer squash with panch phoron (five spices)

These days every farmers market in New York is full of different kinds of squash. I picked marrow squash, yellow zucchini and green zucchini to make this light and slightly soupy summer dish. It is very versatile and tastes good at room temperature - great make ahead dish.

I cook the squash with softened onions, a mix of whole spices and large wedges of juicy vine ripened tomatoes. The squash releases some liquid while cooking and combined with the juice of the tomatoes creates a light sauce to mop with bread or pour over a runny polenta. The final touch is a little bit of sugar which balances all the other flavors in the dish.

Summer squash with panch phoron

Melange of Summer squash

1 ½ lb mixed summer squash
Scant 1/8 teaspoon of each of the following spices:
nigella seeds
fennel seeds
cumin seeds
mustard seeds
fenugreek seeds

1 ½ cups chopped yellow onion
2 medium vine ripened tomatoes, each cut into 8 wedges
1 jalapeno pepper, split down the middle and - deseeded
¼ teaspoon granulated sugar
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
1 ¼ tablespoon canola oil

1. Heat a large heavy bottomed non-stick skillet with canola oil. Add the whole spices and the onions and ¼ teaspoon salt and cook the onions over low heat till the onions are beginning to soften about 4 to 5 minutes.
2. Ad the deseeded jalapeno pepper and the squash pieces and cook for 2 minutes tossing well.
3. Add the tomatoes and ½ teaspoon salt and cover and cook for 10 minutes.
4. By this time the tomatoes would have broken down completely and the zucchini would be soft. Add sugar and mix well. Taste to make sure the flavors are well balanced. Adjust the seasoning if necessary.
5. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Serves 3

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