I have a pet peeve for food wastage, especially knowing that there are so many in this world who are not fortunate enough to have even one proper meal in a day. The other day I was grilling some marinated zucchinis, with the skin peeled off. I was about to chuck the peels in the waste bin when I remembered that my grandmother used to make a simple dish out of vegetable peels. She used to call it “tontona” – basically a combination of yoghurt and vegetable peel. More often than not my granny would use ridged gourd peels for this. With zucchini peel in hand, I figured why not try it with this instead.
Excitedly I whatsapped my mum to share the recipe with me and 15 minutes later (yes, it is really fast to make), I was facing a nutritious, delicious comfort food that I knew will go really well with my freshly prepared steamed rice and ghee.
This recipe is really special to me, because I grew up eating it. No doubt, the nostalgic waves just enhanced this humble dish into an extraordinary one for me.
The next time you are about to chuck vegetable peels in the bin, do consider this recipe – it is absolutely worth it.
- Zucchini peel: x1
- Yoghurt: 1/2 cup
- Green chilli: x1, slit (add more if you want to more punch)
- Black peppercorns: 3-4
- Cumin seeds: 1/4 tsp
- Fresh coconut: 1/4 cup, grated
- Asafoetida: 1/4 tsp
- Mustard seed: 1/4 tsp
- Chana dal (split Bengal gram): 1/4 tsp (optional)
- Oil: 1-2 tbsp
- Salt: To taste
- Microwave zucchini peel, green chilli peppercorns and cumin seeds, with minimal water for about a minute or till the peel is soft
- Grind this with fresh coconut, asafoetida and salt. Keep aside
- In a pan, prepare the tempering: Heat oil and add mustard seeds and split Bengal gram
- Once they start spluttering, pour the tempering into the ground mixture and allow it to cool
- Lastly, mix in the yoghurt: start with quarter cup yoghurt, mix and taste. If you want the dish to be more diluted, add in the remaining yoghurt.
- Adjust seasoning as needed and serve with hot rice