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Sunday, August 5, 2007

Zimikand Halwa & Zucchini - Tomato Pappu

As all good things in life, Nupur's A-Z Indian vegetable series is also coming to an end. I wish there had been more letters in the English alphabet. I have been a vegetarian all my life and so, this event became my 'favorite' one. Sending recipes every week, was like a self made commitment, though initially planned things were never executed. Planned 'V' entry vangibhath became vergodalas dal, 'S' for saagu became spinach rice and in a similar fashion, majority of the planned things became different and something else depending upon my time and availability of ingredients. Still I managed to get acquainted with some 'new' veggies in the process.
For the final letter 'Z' of the series, 'Zimikand Halwa' & 'Zucchini - Tomato Pappu' are my entries.

Thank you Nupur for such a wonderful event, which I really enjoyed. You ARE a gracious hostess. :)

Zimikand Halwa

Zucchini - Tomato Pappu


Zimikand Halwa

I had a feeling that I could not pull off a dry zunka and it was planned that zucchini would come into picture only if I could not find any other 'Z' alternatives. When I was going through the hindi words for veggies, I came across 'Zimikand'. After some web surfing, I concluded that it has to be suran or ratalu, the purple yams.

I must admit, I have never encountered these 'Indian Yams' in and around the region, I grew up. I therefore went yesterday and bought two bags of frozen ratalu. The picture on the bag had beautiful purple discs of chopped ratalu. When I opened them, it was a sheer disappointment. Half of them were brown rotten things. I had to throw more than half of them into the garbage. The remaining purple things were enough to cheer me up. I would like to see some real fresh stuff in the future and enjoy it in it's true form.

Somehow, I did not wish to see the purple hue lost to some spices and other veggies added in the dish. Unlike some colorful root vegetables, these yams were on the bland side. Still, their rich color tempted me to try a sweet dish. I thawed them for a while, grated them, added milk and sugar, cooked it and ended up with a yummy dessert. I have a hunch that probably the halwa would be rich purple in color, if I had access to the fresh stuff.
Coming to this lilac colored dessert, it was just heavenly. Unlike carrots & lauki, this vegetable almost becomes a mush when cooked and will have a melt in your mouth kind of creaminess to it. If you have ratalu available at a grocery store near you, I would recommend you to try this dish. I was so glad that I did not try to cook it into one more sabji. I am so excited with this new found veggie and am looking forward to try some more desserts with it.

Grated zimikand - 1 cup
Milk - less than 1/2 cup
Sugar - 1/2 cup
Ghee - 2 Tbsp
Cardamom powder - 1/4 tsp

Cooking part:
Add grated zimikand, milk, sugar and ghee to a pan and cook on low flame. The mixture tends to get a little sticky at the initial stages but keep stirring in between. When the mixture turns to almost halwa consistency, add cardamom powder and mix well. Cook for a couple of minutes more and turn off the stove. Refrigerate for a couple of hours and serve.


Zucchini - Tomato Pappu (Dal)

I could not resist the fresh zucchinis at the grocery store and brought some. I made delicious, dal adding some tomatoes along with it today.

Toor dal - 1 Cup
Zucchini - Peeled, ends cut and chopped into medium sized cubes - 1 Cup
Small sized tomatoes - 2
2 Serrano peppers (or green chillies), vertically slit into 4 pieces
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Tamarind extract - 1/4 cup
Chilli powder - 2 to 2 & 1/2 tsp
Salt -2 & 1/2 tsp

For tadka / seasoning, you need:
Oil - 1 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
A few pinches of asafoetida
Few curry leaves

Cooking pappu:
Cook toordal with tomatoes (whole), green chillies, turmeric powder adding 2 cups of water in a pressure cooker until you hear one or two whistles.
Mean while, cook the zucchini with a little amount of water in a MW. Let it be cooked till tender, (not turning them into a mush).
When the valve pressure is gone, remove the cooker's lid. Mash the tomatoes well along with the dal and add cooked zucchini, tamarind extract, chilli powder, salt to the dal mixture.
Turn on the stove and let the dal simmer on low - medium flame for about five minutes.
Heat oil in a small pan and add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, asafoetida and curry leaves in that order. When mustard seeds start to pop, turn off the stove and add the mixture to the cooked dal and mix well.
Serve hot with rice and ghee or rotis.


Previously On A - Z series

D - Daikon Chutney
E - Eggplants, Stuffed
F - French beans & Indian Beans In a Sabji
G - Gajar Ka Kheer
H - Hagalakayi (Bitter gourd) Gojju
I - Idli Upma
I - Imli Ke Paththon Ka Dal
J - Jalapenos – Mirchi Ka Salan
K - Kosumbari
L - Lauki Ka Halwa
M - Mirapakaya – Aloo Koora
N - Nuggekayi Palya
O - Okra dal
P - Patoli
Q - Quick Mango chutney
R - Rajma - Aloo
S - Spinach Rice
T - Tomato Gojju
U - Urlagadda – Menthaku Koora
V - Vergodalas Dal
W - Whole, White Potatoes In Spinach Gravy
X - Xacuti Masala Rice
X - Xacuti, Vegetarian
Y - Yogurt With Snakegourd

Post a comment


Anonymous said...


Zimikand or ratalu can be eaten in a different way which is popular in Surat. Make round pieces and fry them. Add salt & ground black pepper and eat. They taste really good when eaten this way.

Sharmi said...

do you have a pic of zimikand. sorry I dont know what it is. but your halwa pic looks so nice.

Laavanya said...

It was good to know about Zimikand! The halwa looks pretty.
Hope to try the zucchini-tomato pappu someday. Great entries!

Sig said...

Hey Suma, the Halwa looks great! Never heard of Zimikand... and the frozen stuff... yep, that happens to me all the time with all the frozen veggies from Indian stores... packet has some fresh yummy colorful veggies, but big disaster inside... glad you got at least half... :)

Suma Gandlur said...

Hi anonymous,
Yes, I know the veggie can be prepared as you mentioned.
I wanted to try a dessert and hence this halwa.:)

Suma Gandlur said...

Thanks. Zimikand is another name for 'Ratalu' / 'Suran' as per online info.
I haven't seen the fresh ones but you can find them in frozen section where they sell Indian vegetables.


Anonymous said...

this Z thing has taken every blog by storm....zimikand, wudnt have ever know if such thing existed....the pics are tempting

J said...

What a fantastic colour!!

Saju said...

Suma, your research paid off, the zimikand halva looks delicious. Even the plain every zucchini looks fanastic. I agree with you it has been fun partcipating in Nupur A-Z event.

Nupur said...

Suma, the pale lilac color of the dessert is just exquisite! I can imagine how creamy and yummy it would taste. Thank you for your wonderful entries week after week :)

Asha said...

Sumi,Zimikand color is amazing!! Looks so delicious. And saaru is excellent too,I prefer this over sweet anytime!:))
Great A to Z list.I started at E,so I will keep cooking A to D and then list it on the side bar!:D
God job girl.

Suma Gandlur said...

Thanks. I agree with you and I am too disappointed with the Indian frozen veggies available here.

Suma Gandlur said...

I agree with you. Even I had no idea about these purple yams.

Isn't it? I love that shade of lilac.

Thank you. The series was fun.

Suma Gandlur said...

Thanks. I fell in love with the color of the veggie and so wanted to have a dish with a purple hue.
The series had been a wonderful experience.

Suma Gandlur said...

Thanks. Pappu is different than saaru. It is not watery at all.
Actually, you have missed only the letter 'D'. Nupur invited fellow bloggers for this series from 'D'.
I too was thinking to cook and post for A - C.

Roopa said...

excellent Suma! the color looks so good never thought of halwa with suran ! nice entry...:)

Vcuisine said...

Something new for me Suma, the dal looks great. Viji

Unknown said...

I have never heard of Zimmikand, but the halwa looks yummmyyyy...
And sounds very easy too!!!
Zucchini pappu looks delicious!!!

Sia said...

i am glad u posted zimikand recipe. i have one frozen bag which i bought it on instinct last month. still have been thinking as where to use it and now i have got halwa to try.
my goodness, u r one enthu cook. just checked all ur entries for A-Z and i am amazed:)

Anonymous said...

Halwa is looking so yummy and different. Great entry.

Tee said...

Great entries! Zimikand Halwa looks so colourful!:)

Anonymous said...


Actually Ratalu and Suran are two different veggies belong to the same family. This is Ratalu : http://www.specialtyproduce.com/spnew/ProdPics/1779.jpg
This is Suran: http://www.uga.edu/rootandtubercrops/photos/surancrosssection.jpg
They do taste different.

Prema Sundar said...

I have seen this vegetable in frozen section in indian shops.Have never prepared or tried anything with this.A very nice idea of making halwa with ratalu.
nice knowing of this vegetable.
Loved ur pineapple sheera too.

TBC said...

Hi Suma,
I make a ratalu sabji all the time, never knew that something like this could be made!The halwa looks good. The color is so different from anything I've seen before.Beautiful!

Suma Gandlur said...

Thx for the info.
I find the same purple yam sold under the names of 'Suran' and 'Ratalu' in the frozen section.
May be they have different names regionally.

Bharathy said...

Aaah... entries for Z,That too.. 2 of them!!!!I coulndn't think of even one,Suma..!!Fine recipes.Love them and congrats for such an invovement with the event!!!...Fantastic Blogger!!..:)

Rajitha said...

very nice color on the halwa. I think it will be fun to serve when u have company to see some reactions!

Anonymous said...

Hi Suma, Great entries for Z. I never heard about Zimikand. Halwa looks lovely and must be tasty too!
Enjoyed your blog. Will keep visiting!!!