I think after cooking over 600+ recipes at this point, I can say that actually cooking is not always that complicated (of course some can be more complicated, to me at least). My definition of complicated when it comes to cooking is when you have to do preparation a day or days before the actual serving day, in other words, labor intensive. While I like to put myself in that position sometimes (I like challenges. Sure! lol!), a lot of time, I also don’t like to spend too much time at the kitchen.
I’ve learned along the way from this journey that you can use simple ingredient, like in this case, zucchini and spice it up with herb like curry leaves. Honestly speaking, this was my first time ever making a dish like this.
My recent addiction to curry leaves is also intensified after my mom brought me some all the way from Indonesia (thanks mama!). So intense that I went and bought curry plants so I could plant my own. If you don’t know already (I kinda knew I probably bought the wrong plants, but went against my guts anyway), curry plants and curry leaves are two VERY DIFFERENT THINGS!
The curry leaves I like are actual green leaves that grow from a tree, known as curry leaf tree. The smell is incredible and being used a lot in Asia, especially Southeast Asia and South Asia. The curry plant I bought is kinda grey in color and looks kinda like the herb rosemary. It’s more like a shrub and not a tree. The smell is mild but you can smell the “curry” flavor in it. It’s totally different smell with the curry leaves. So I have curry plant and not curry leaf tree 🙁
Oh well, that’s okay, just to let you know the difference between curry leaves and curry plant. Apparently I can’t seem to find curry leaf tree here!
Okay, back to the food (sorry, always got side tracked). I got creative the other day and decided that I wanted to try making something different with the zucchini, but didn’t want to fuss too much at the kitchen. I opened the fridge and saw the dried curry leaves in the freezer. Hmm….zucchini, curry leaves and hey..I saw some chilis, bell peppers and shallots too! and this was what I came up with. I’m proud to say it turned out pretty good actually! The flavors are great and that curry leaves really brought this dish up few notches! GOOD STUFF! Give it a try and I think there’s a high chance you might like it.
Check out my other recipes with curry leaves 😉 I can’t seem to get enough!
- 1 large zucchini (wash the skin and score the skin with fork at its length all over)
- 2 shallots (peeled and slice thinly)
- 1 large red or yellow bell pepper (seeded and cut into long strips)
- 5-6 curry leaves
- 4-5 bird's eye chilis (seeded and cut into strips). If you can't find bird's eye chilis, you can use serrano peppers
- 2 Tbsp canola oil
- Dash of salt and pepper
Preheat your wok/skillet. Add the oil in. Toss in the shallots and stir-fry until fragrant, which take about half a minute or so. Add in the curry leaves, bell pepper strips and chilis and continue to stir-fry until fragrant and the bell peppers are soft
Add in the zucchini slices, salt and pepper. Splash in a bit of water and it will sizzle. Continue to stir-fry until the zucchinis are soft but not mushy. Have a taste and adjust if necessary
Serve immediately with other dishes and rice if you like