"Vegetables are a must on a diet. I suggest carrot cake, zucchini bread and pumpkin pie."
I like all of the above but would like to add more...many more vegetables to an everyday diet. I love vegetables, even though I have been a non-vegetarian even before I cut my teeth! I eat all vegetables and they have a place on my daily diet. There's nothing like fresh, green vegetables. I didn't plan on confessions, but here's one, I love shopping for vegetables; even at the farmer's market. I get as excited seeing all those lovely vegetables bursting with freshness as I do when I see rows of shoes or handbags or earrings!! I want to buy all of them! Okay, let's come to the vegetable in the limelight today: the 'Tinda.' I've already introduced this beauty in my recipe for 'Bharwan Tinda.'
Today, it's a very simple, easy and tasty dish and that's the bottom line of my recipes. This is a versatile dish and can be served as a main dish with parathas and raita on the side, and it makes a great combo as a side dish in a non-vegetarian meal.
Tender tinda...............................6-7 in number, scrape the top skin and slice lengthwise into strips of medium thickness.
Green Coriander...........a small handful
Extra virgin olive oil
Scrape the top skin of the tindas. This is a very thin film so don't be harsh. You want to just remove the bruises and hairy brush and dark spots. You must retain the green outer cover. Wash and keep aside.
Note: You should make sure the tindas are tender and do not have hard exteriors. The mature/over ripe tinda has a tough skin and hard seeds inside. These do not make a good dish.
Slice the onion into juliennes of medium thickness. Heat about three tbsps of oil in a non-stick pan. Drop in the onions.
When they turn translucent, add the chopped tomatoes. Stir in and allow to cook on medium high until the tomatoes are soft and can be mashed with the spoon. Then add the sliced tinda.
Stir the tinda slices into the onion-tomato mix. Then add salt according to taste, and a little water. Lower the heat, cover and simmer until the water is almost dry and the vegetable is almost cooked. By that I mean, not soft but firm. Dig a knife into a slice or two, if it goes in smoothly with no crunch but a mild resistance it's the right time to add the rest of the ingredients.
From the picture above you can see a teeny weeny bit of water remains. Drop in the whole green chillies and the chopped coriander. Check for salt. Now gently move the vegetable around. Cover and cook for another minute to dry out the liquid, while you crush the pepper corns in a mortar. But don't forget the tinda, and don't overcook it.
DO Not use ground pepper which is not only a very fine powder, but also doesn't have the flavour of freshly crushed pepper. It's not a huge task to coarsely crush about twenty-five pepper corns. The amount of pepper, of course, is according to taste.You could use a pepper mill if you aren't too keen on a mortar. Personally, I love this kitchen implement!
Add the coarsely crushed pepper. Give it a couple of gentle tosses to incorporate the pepper.
Remove and serve with parathas and plain yoghurt or a raita. Raita is yoghurt mixed with something: Boondi, or fruits, or shredded cucumber or boiled and mashed potatoes....there are so many options...and a bit of spices like roasted cumin powder, salt, red chilli powder, black salt (optional) and sugar (optional)
Here's to simple; to basic; to non spicy; to healthy eating!