Yummy delights from peels

Yummy delights from peels

Don't discard your veggie peels, you can create some fantastic dishes with them

Vegetable peels

Long before we got familiar with ‘reduce, reuse and recycle’ as a concept, our grandmas were practising it, even in their kitchens! They used the skins and peels of vegetables and fruits, their seeds, pith and even ridges in delicious preparations, thereby imparting variety and nutrition to the cuisine. While seeds have the potential to nourish saplings, skins and peels are replete with valuable nutrients and fibre. Snehlatha Baliga offers some recipes that can be made using usually discarded portions of vegetables.

Raw banana peel curry

Ingredients: 2 cups raw banana peels, 4-5 red chillies, 1/4 tsp mustard seeds, 1 tbsp grated coconut, a small lump of jaggery,
salt to taste, 2 tbsp oil. 

Method: Clean and cut the banana peels into long strips. Cut these into fine pieces. Heat oil, add mustard seeds and when they splutter, add chillies and the raw banana peels. Add salt and enough water to cook. Cover and cook till tender. Add jaggery, cover and cook till the jaggery melts. Garnish with grated coconut and serve with rice.

Ridge gourd ridge chutney
Ridge gourd chutney

Ridge gourd ridge chutney

Ingredients: 1/2 cup ridges of ridge gourd (cleaned and cut into pieces), 1 & 1/2 cups grated coconut, 1/2 tsp cumin seeds, 2 roasted chillies, salt to taste, marble-sized lump tamarind, salt to taste. 

Method: Roast together grated coconut, ridge pieces and cumin till brown. Grind together roasted coconut mixture with tamarind, salt to a paste. Serve with rotis or rice.
Note: a variation of the above can be created by reducing the grated coconut to half and substituting it with roasted gram and adding spices like garlic, coriander leaves, asafoetida, curry leaves, etc according to preference. A lump of jaggery gives an extra taste.

Crispy pumpkin seeds

Ingredients: Cleaned and dried pumpkin seeds (required quantity), salt to taste, oil for deep frying (or dry roasting), spice powders like chilli, coriander, cumin for sprinkling (optional), garam masala.

Method: Pumpkin seeds could be either roasted or deep fried. For roasting, heat a little oil, add the seeds, cover and let them roast. Remove, add salt and required spice powders (if required), toss and serve as a snack or to garnish raitas or other preparations. For deep frying, fry them in oil, drain, sprinkle salt and masalas (optional).

Fried raw banana peel

Ingredients: 2 cups cleaned peels of raw banana, oil for frying, salt to taste, 1 tbsp rice flour.

Method: Cut cleaned banana skin pieces into one-inch square pieces. Crush each piece, smear salt and keep aside. Squeeze out excess water from the pieces, dust with rice flour, keep aside for 5 minutes. Heat oil and fry till crisp. Drain and serve.