Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Simple Masala Brussel Sprouts, vegan too!

Simple Masala Brussel Sprouts, vegan too!

Thursday is going to roll around faster than I need, and since we often go to Calgary’s Kingsland Farmer's Market on a Thursday, it occurred to me I really should use up the brussel sprouts I bought there the last time we went. 

This recipe is simple (for a masala) and bright, sweet and lively, opposite of how many view the lowly, or esteemed vegetable, however they perceive it. 
Many passionately hate, but me, I love them so much that as a child I wrote a poem, ‘Ode to a Brussel Sprout’, which thankfully I have since lost, so you don’t have to worry about reading it now.

1 tablespoon mustard oil
1 teaspoon dark mustard seed
1 teaspoon cumin seed
1 inch ginger, matchsticked
1 red onion, diced
1/3 Habanero pepper, partially seeded and very finely chopped
5 fresh garlic cloves, chopped
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
½ teaspoon fennel seed
½ pound brussel sprouts, ends removed, halved or quartered, depending on size
2 large red sweet peppers, cut into 1 inch pieces
¼ cup dried, unsweetened coconut
¼ cup slightly bashed unsalted, raw cashews
¼ cup melon seeds*
2 tiny limes, juiced

So colourful and healthy!
Put the heat on high under a non-stick pot big enough for the vegetables, and when it’s hot, add the oil.  In a couple of minutes the oil should be hot enough to add a few mustard seeds.  If they sizzle, add all the mustard, watch it sizzle for a few seconds, then add the cumin.  Add the onion and ginger, stirring, and reduce heat to medium.  Let the onion soften and caramelise a bit, then add the garlic and chili.  Cook those for a few minutes, then add the cinnamon, turmeric and fennel seed, and cook for another couple of minutes.  Add the brussel sprouts, and cook another ten minutes, then the red pepper, coconut, cashews and melon seeds.  The pepper will soften fairly quickly, so keep yourself focussed more on the sprouts.  When they are tender, in about another five minutes, pour the lime juice over the vegetables, gently stirring well.
To keep this super healthy and vegan, you could serve this over quinoa, but I transgressed, and served it with buttery saffron basmati rice.  How can anyone refuse a brussel sprout when it's this vivid and delicious?  Which vegetables have tantalized you since childhood?  Please let me know in the comments section below.

*available at Indian grocery stores


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