Monday, October 31, 2011

An Indian-inspired meal

Last week in class, we made an Indian-inspired lunch for a group of fourteen. I decided to make a similar meal for dinner this week. I made these rosemary chickpea pancakes topped them with turmeric rice, coconut-braised brussels sprouts and a red lentil dal. It was delicious.

Indian food is full of spice. It's important to use whole, fresh spices. Common spices to use are fenugreek, fennel seed, cumin seed, mustard seed, star anise, clove, and asafetida. Dry roast the spices whole in a pan before grinding and using. Believe me, the time and effort is worth it.

We were hesitant to braise brussels sprouts with coconut milk at first, but after we tasted it, we were sold. The coconut milk imparted a sweetness to the savory brussels sprouts.

Coconut-braised brussels sprouts 
Recipe by Chef Kelly Taylor
1 tsp fenugreek
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp black mustard seed or yellow mustard seed
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 bag brussels sprouts, cleaned and quartered (~ 3 cups)
1/2 small red onion, medium dice
1 can coconut milk (full fat)
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper or fresh chile minced, to taste
1 T lemon juice
sea salt to taste

Dry toast the spices in small saute pan. Set aside to let cool. Then grind in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle.

Add oil to a wide, shallow saute pan over medium heat. When you see the oil glisten, toss in the sprouts. Cook until the sprouts start to brown and caramelize. Add the red onion and cook until they begin to brown, about a minute. Now add the coconut milk, spice mixture, a dash of salt and cayenne. Cook and cover for 15-20 minutes or until the sprouts are done. Add the lemon juice and salt to taste.

Turmeric is a health-promoting spice. It's been used in Chinese and Indian cultures for it's anti-inflammatory healing properties. The yellowish-orange pigment is called curcumin. Turmeric is thought to help prevent against cancer. 

Turmeric rice
Recipe inspired by Cafe Flora
3/4 c basmati rice, rinsed well
1 1/4 c water
1 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp sea salt

Put the rice and water into a pot. Stir in the turmeric, cumin and sea salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and cook until rice is tender, about 15 minutes.

Have a happy Halloween!


Anonymous said...

All sounds yum! I have two bags of brussel sprouts in the fridge right now, so this recipe will be on the menu in the near future.

Anonymous said...

Indian is one cuisine I frequently comment that I could eat day in and day out. All those spices, so intriguing and always slightly different one dish to the next. The idea of braising brussels sprouts in coconut milk is such a great one! I might try it tonight.



Sarah @ Two Blue Lemons said...

Gorgeous!! I would love this to transport through me screen for lunch...

Unknown said...

Oami, you must try it!

Squirrelbread, I could eat Indian everyday too :)

Thanks Sarah!

jacqui said...

Wow! This sounds amazing! So many different flavors and textures together, I love it!

Nico said...

wow, coconut braised brussels!? That sounds so interesting; I absolutely need to try this!

la domestique said...

What a unique recipe! I've never cooked with fenugreek before, and I feel like I'm seeing references to it everywhere. Need to check it out.

Mike said...

I love the unique foods you make. You really know how to add variety into your diet from all different types of cultures.