I hope all of you had a joyous holiday weekend. I made my first pie and stuffing this time! We weren't planning on it but I am glad I tried, they've been on my list of recipes to try for a very long time. I love pecan pie and V's fav is apple pie, from Julian! So I made a hybrid of the two and it turned out really good. But the 2 sticks of butter needed to make one pie crust will keep me from making it again for a very long time. But the stuffing muffins I made will surely be repeated to use up old bread. I used a few slices of leftover homemade jalepeno cheddar bread and added sauteed carrots, celery, fennel and onions that I spiced with chilli flakes and garlic. I used a few splashes of milk instead of stock to moisten the bread and it seemed to work perfectly.
Over the last few weeks Brussels sprouts seem to be taking center stage at all the grocery stores here. Still on the stalks, they look like Christmas ornaments and difficult to pass by without adding a few to my shopping cart. Brussels sprouts come from the mustard family and resemble mini cabbages but have a mild bitter taste. The easiest way I prepare them is roasting them in the oven with some oil, salt and pepper - near zero prepping. I also cook it like I would cabbage but without the peas in that recipe. This time I combined them with toor dal and made a wonderful kootu that goes really well with rice.
Brussels Sprouts KootuIngredients:
Tadka: 1 tsp - Ghee; 1/2 tsp - mustard & cumin seeds; 1/2 tsp - urad dal;
- 8-10 - Brussels sprouts
- 1/2 cup - Toor dal
- 1/2 tsp - Turmeric powder
- a pinch of Asafoetida/hing
- 3-4 Tbsp - Kootu podi
- 1 tsp - Jaggery/brown sugarKootu podi:
- 1 Tbsp - Channa dal
- 2 Tbsp - Urad dal
- 2 tsp - Coriander seeds
- 1 tsp - Peppercorns
- 4-5 nos - dried Red chillies
- 5-6 nos - Curry leaves
- 1 Tbsp - Fresh/dry grated coconut
- 1 Tbsp - Sesame oil/vegetable oilMethod:
- Wash the toor dal in multile changes of water and cook it with the turmeric and hing using a 1:2 dal-to-water ratio. I use a pressure cooker for this step.
- In the meantime, discard the outer leaves of the brussels sprouts and halve/quarter the bigger ones. Place them in a microwave safe dish, add a splash of water, cover and cook for 2-3 minutes. Just enough to soften them but not cooked through.
- In a shallow sauté pan, heat sesame oil on medium low heat. Add the channa dal first since it takes longer to brown. Once you start noticing its color changing add the urad dal. Add the rest of the ingredients next except the coconut. Roast on a low heat to get uniform browning. Just before turning off the heat add the grated coconut, the residual heat will continue to brown it. Allow time to cool and grind to a coarse powder.
- Once the dal is cooked, toss in the brussel sprouts, kootu podi, jaggery, salt and a cup of water. Taste and check for seasonings adding more kootu podi if needed.
- Simmer on low heat for 10-15minutes allowing the flavors to seep into the brussels sprouts and dal.
- For the tadka, heat up the ghee and toast the cumin, mustard and urad dal in it. Transfer the dal to your serving dish and top it with the fragrant tadka before serving.
Notes: The kootu's flavor develop as it sits, so make a larger portion to enjoy for a later meal.We had the kootu with rice and it was delicious. The flavors are complex and turn the every day dal into a delightful meal. If you've never used brussels sprouts before this might be a good place to start too. They have a slight bitter taste which in this case melds beautifully into the dal leaving you to enjoy their tender texture.
You can use almost any choice of vegetable or greens in this preparation. When using starchy vegetables like taro root, potato add a little tamarind extract in step (4).
Double or triple the kootu podi recipe and store the extras in the fridge for use later. The next time you want to make this, all you have to do is have your dal and veggies cooked and a delightful meal is ready in no time.
You can use the podi to also add flavor to sautéed eggplant, raw plantain or potato fry.
For a different variation, try this kootu recipe.
The pop of green in the photo above is a wonderful green peas curry that I made from Anjum Anand's latest cookbook -'Anjum's New Indian'. If you've been reading the reviews of her book on other blogs and planning on getting yourself a copy, come back later this week for a chance to win a free copy here!