Tomato, Potato, Zucchini Stew
. 4-6 potatoes (more if medium sized, less if big) cut into 1 inch pieces
. 1 large zucchini cut into half inch thick pieces. If the zuke is big in diameter you can cut those large rounds in half, to make half-rounds.
. 4-5 good-sized whole tomatoes, nice and ripe cut in quarters
. (if they aren’t real ripe when you buy them, let them sit outside the refrigerator for a couple days until they are nice and red)
. 10 or so fresh basil leaves, chopped if real large
. 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil or ghee*
. 1/4 teaspoon Turmeric** (optional)
. salt, pepper to taste
. hing to taste*** (optional)
. 1 can chickpeas with liquid (optional)
1. Steam the potatoes in water until they are tender but not mushy. Add the zucchini on top and let that steam a minute or two until it shows that it is at least partially cooked. Drain and set aside.
2. In a stock pot, put olive oil or ghee. add turmeric and a dash of hing. Drop in quartered tomatoes. Unless you have gone to the trouble to remove the skins, they will be in the dish. However, once the tomatoes break down, the skins are easy to find and pull out. They aren’t bad for you, so you could leave them in also. Mash the tomatoes a little and let them cook down until you have some tomato pulp and lots of juice. Add the zuchinni and potatoes. Add the chick peas (if you are adding them) and basil at this point.
3. Let them simmer in the tomato for about 15 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste. If you are adding hing, just sprinkle a little across the pot.
4. Serve alone in a soup bowl, or over rice. Good with a fresh Greek salad and Italian bread. Very simple and elegant.
* If you use Olive oil, but want a buttery taste in the dish, add a TBs of butter near the end before you serve.
**Turmeric gives the dish a warm golden tint and turmeric is a blood purifier. Very good for you, but slightly bitter-tasting, so don’t use a lot.
By Bhaktin Archana