Chef Arun Mohanraj’s Baked Parmesan Zucchini brings out the cheese lover in you
Chef Arun Mohanraj has been delighting diners across the country with his Western recipes for the last 15 years. But having spent seven years working across various properties in Kerala, the new Executive Chef of The Gateway Hotel, Savoy in Ooty tells us that his allegiances may have changed over the years. “I love cooking kebabs and curries and truly enjoy making Kerala food. I, perhaps, make it better than the local Tamil Nadu cuisine,” he says with a hint of laughter in his voice. Though this may be the case, the 40-year-old is rediscovering his love for continental cuisine as he revamps the menu for Savoy’s restaurant. “Most zucchini dishes are prepared with some form of meat and a bolognese sauce. I wanted to change things up and created a vegetarian version with a herbed sauce.”
Sharing the recipe for his baked parmesan zucchini, the chef reveals that the dish is his comfort food favourite.
Zucchini - 1 medium size | Tomatoes- 3 | Rice -50 gm| Saffron - 1 gm | Milk - 50 ml | Butter - 20 gm | Red pepper - 50 gm | Yellow pepper - 50 gm | Parmesan - 50 gm | Bread - 1 slice | Thyme - 2 gm | Oregano - 2 gm | Rosemary - 2 gm | Chilli flakes - 2 gm | Salt - to taste
For Zucchini Boat
■ Cut zucchini vertically into two pieces and scoop the centre flesh to make two boats
■ In a blender mix bread slice, thyme, oregano, rosemary and chilli flakes and blend into a coarse crumb
■ Now cut pepper into small dices along with the leftover zucchini flesh.
■ Mix it with the herbs and bread crumbs, adding the grated parmesan cheese and combine well.
■ Toss the zucchini boats with salt, olive oil and pepper and fill in the prepared mixture into the boats.
■ Top this with additional parmesan cheese and bake it on pre-heated oven of 200 C for 5-10 minutes.
For Tomato sauce
■ Grind the tomato into a puree
■ Cook it in a saucepan with oregano, salt and chilli flakes, till it no longer tastes and retains the consistency of Coulis.
For Saffron Rice
■ Cook the long grain rice in the saffron infused milk along with butter and salt.
■ Assemble the prepared dish and serve.