A delicious Indian-inspired dish like this shrimp and zucchini can be spiced up as you like it. Karen Schneider / For The Forecaster

Karen Schneider cooks and writes in the village of Cundy’s Harbor. You can reach her at iwrite33@comcast.net.

You’re in for a real treat. Let’s pair a few of those garden zucchinis with shrimp (or scallops or chicken), incorporate some heat with Indian spices and serve it with aromatic basmati rice. Sounds good, doesn’t it?

When I moved into this cottage on the cove eight years ago, it was filled with many, many things, including a cookbook collection. On the shelves, I found a well-marked-up, obviously well-loved edition of “Madhur Jaffrey’s Indian Cooking,” published in 1982.

Eight years ago, I knew how to cook only one Indian dish, a crockpot version of chicken tikka masala. I’m proud to now write that I can cook dozens of delicious Indian dishes now thanks to the recipes, instructions and tips in this tattered cookbook. Every single recipe I have tried has been stellar and instills confidence in me when I set to work creating this cuisine.

If you’re looking for yet another way to use your mother lode of zucchini, you’re going to love this dish. It can be tailored by using more or less spice, more tomatoes to make it saucier, or even stirring in a splash of cream to mellow it out.

(By the way, did you know there is no zucchini in India? However, there are similar squashes to be had.)

Jhinga aur ghia (shrimp with zucchini), served on a bed of delicately flavored Masaledar basmati (spiced basmati) is my kind of meal. Fresh, healthy, savory… it will win a place at your table.


If there is leftover rice, it can be reheated and served with grilled meat or fish later. (Or devoured cold at 11 p.m. while standing over the kitchen sink.)

Shrimp with zucchini

3/4 pound small zucchini, cut into pieces about the same size as the shrimp

3/4 teaspoon salt, divided

1 pound large raw shrimp, peeled and deveined

5 tablespoons vegetable oil

6 cloves garlic, peeled and minced


1 cup cilantro, chopped (reserve a sprinkle for garnish)

1 small hot green chili, minced (jalapeno is fine)

1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon cayenne

1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced


1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, smashed with a fork

Place zucchini in a bowl and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Toss and set aside for 40 minutes, then drain and pat dry with paper towels.

Place shrimp on paper towels and pat them dry as well.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add garlic and saute until golden. Add zucchini and shrimp, stirring until shrimp is opaque. (Follow these same instructions if you’re using scallops. If you’re using chicken, of course you would saute that longer, until completely cooked through.)

Add chili and most of the cilantro, reserving a bit for garnishing. Stir in all the spices and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add lemon juice and tomatoes, including the liquid from the can.


Cover, turn heat to low and cook for 3 minutes. Then uncover, bring the heat to medium, stir and simmer away any liquid, if preferred. Garnish with cilantro just before serving.

Yield: 4 servings

Spiced basmati rice

2 cups basmati rice

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 small onion, finely diced

1/2 small hot green chili, finely diced


2 cloves garlic, minced

3/4 teaspoon garam masala

1 teaspoon salt

2 3/4 cups chicken or vegetable stock

2 tablespoons ghee or butter, optional

Rinse rice and drain. Place in a bowl covered with 5 cups water and allow it to soak for 30 minutes, then drain for at least 20 minutes.

Heat oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. When hot, add onion and saute until lightly brown. Add chili, rice, garlic, garam masala and salt. Stir gently for 3-4 minutes until rice is coated with the fragrant oil. If rice sticks to the bottom of the skillet, turn the heat down slightly.

Pour in the stock and bring to a boil. Cover with a tight-fitting lid, turn heat to very low and cook for 20-25 minutes, adding a bit more stock or water if needed. Stir in butter or ghee if desired.

Yield: 6 servings

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