I rediscovered Baati after a recent trip to India and posted a recipe here. Since I am not great at making Chapatis (Rotis – Indian flatbread), Baati has become my go-to home-cooked Indian bread of choice if I can help it. Clearly this approach has its detractors, as evidenced by protests I here often and loudly from my kids who prefer to eat Chapatis.But I know my limitations. Chapatis are best left to the experts. In our case, my mother-in-law who visits us often enough for the kids to have their fill of Chapatis.
However, on always has to listen to one’s critics. So given the frequency and intensity of the protests, I started looking for alternatives to Daal for Baati. One, really good alternative was a Salan (pronounced Saa-lun – lun as in lunge) style curry. The Salan is a peanut-based Hyderabad-style curry that is often served as an accompaniment to Biryani. The vegetable in the Salan can vary from Poblano Chili to Cauliflower to Opo Squash (aka Lauki in Hindi) but the basics remain the same. Chef Sanjay Thumma’s excellent website has a great recipe that I used. The link is here. I made a Lotus Root Salan a few days later which also worked, though not as well as the Squash.
NOTE: You can use Zucchini Squash instead of Opo Squash just cut it in nice and thick chunks.