Sometimes it’s fun to plan a big, elaborate meal. One that seems unachievable because it’s too many dishes or too complex. It’s a challenge, and I love challenges in the kitchen. When I’m cooking outdoors though–while I might pick something gourmet to cook, I rarely go for elaborate. Especially without the help of Emily and Mai-yan.
So on our trip to San Simeon a few weekends ago, I hadn’t really planned an elaborate dinner on Sunday night, but that’s what it turned out to be. I had made mung dal at home and also some naan dough that I planned to cook in a cast iron skillet over the campfire. As I was leaving the house, I remembered some overgrown zucchini that a friend gave us and on a whim decided to grab those too. At camp we ended up putting together an amazing Indian spread that included dal, Indian Spiced Fire Roasted Zucchini, naan, and raita. To top it off, the all the food was hot at the same time, something I often can’t even achieve at home!
The amazing part about it was that it was completely doable. I gave each person a specific job, and everyone happily went along with it. Together we produced a meal that I’d have been happy to eat at a restaurant.
Here’s a recipe for the Indian Spiced Fire Roasted Zucchini. The recipe was made up on the spot, but it was a hit!
Indian Spiced Fire Roasted Zucchini
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time30-40 minutes
Activity GuideCar Camping
- 1 1/4 pounds zucchini
- 3 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 1 serrano chile, minced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tomatoes, diced
- a big handful of cilantro, chopped
- Cutting board
- Wrap the whole zucchinis tightly in foil and place on a grate over hot coals. Cook, turning frequently, until zucchini are very soft. Remove from heat and cool slightly.
- Unwrap zucchinis and cut them in half lengthwise. Scoop out the flesh with a spoon and set it aside in a bowl.
- Heat the oil in a large pan and cook the onion until golden. Add the chile and garlic and cook another minute. Stir in the coriander, turmeric, and salt.
- Add tomatoes and cook until most of the juices evaporate. Add the zucchini and mash it up if there are any large chunks. Cook, stirring occasionally, for another 10 minutes. Mix in the chopped cilantro.