Dhoodhi Handvo, or Indian Zucchini Muffins

It’s a gorgeous autumn day in New Orleans. I had forgotten how summery the southern fall tends to be. Perfect day for a bike ride around town to see what our local shops have in store for holiday gift potential.

autumn-in-nola

These ultra-healthy muffins for the granola Birkenstock crowd feature savory summer squash and are an exotic electric yellow color, which will attract skepticism and interest from all who witness your enjoyment. Many of these Indian spices are gaining traction as health foods because of their anti-inflammatory properties. So feel righteous.

squash-muffin1

Dhoodhi Handvo

Adapted from Eating Well

2 cups fine semolina flour

2 1/2 tablespoons grapeseed oil plus 1 1/2 tablespoons, divided

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric

3 cloves garlic, finely grated or minced

1 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated or minced

3 1/2 cups packed shredded zucchini (about 1 pound—very important that this is as dry as can be)

1 cup low-fat plain yogurt

1 tablespoon sugar

3/4 cup water

1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds

1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds

1 tablespoon sesame seeds

Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat 12 muffin cups with liners (or butter). Mix flour, 2 1/2 tablespoons oil, salt, baking soda and turmeric in a medium bowl. Combine garlic and ginger in a large bowl; press with a spoon to make a paste. Add zucchini, yogurt and sugar; stir until well combined. Add the dry ingredients and stir to combine. Add water and stir to combine again. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tin, filling each cup until almost flush with the top. Level the batter. Heat the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add cumin seeds and mustard seeds; cook, stirring, until very fragrant, about 45 seconds, being careful not to burn them.

squash-muffin-topping

Remove from heat. Spoon a scant 1/2 teaspoon of the seasoned oil on top of each muffin, then sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake for 20 minutes. Leaving the pan in the center of the oven, switch the oven to broil, and broil the muffins until the tops are browned, 7 to 10 minutes more. Let cool in the pan for 20 minutes before removing. Serve warm or room temperature.

squash-muffin

Summertime in my mouth. And in my garden too.

autumn-in-new-orleans

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