Brussels sprouts are my ‘blank canvas’ vegetable. They inspire the artist in me to come right out and start experimenting with different flavors and cooking methods; check out our spiced oven roasted version or Brussels sprout added to the Tex-Mex chili with an Indian touch.
Using a tempering technique from the flavor-filled cuisine of south India, let’s create some more magic with this high fiber, low calorie, heart-healthy and vitamin- filled cruciferous vegetable, the amazing Brussels sprout.
Food and cooking habits in southern India are distinctly different from the rest of the country. Most notably, there is a higher consumption of rice in the diet of this region, as compared to a dominance of wheat based ‘roti-chapati’ and other Indian flat-bread in the north and west of India.
And then, there’s the more subtle differences in south Indian tempering techniques, characterized by an ingredient mix of curry leaves, garlic and ginger pieces, whole red or green chilies and crackling of whole spices like peppercorn and mustard seeds in hot oil.
We like adding a zing to Brussels sprouts by cooking them this way, with a simple south Indian style tempering and a sprinkling of ground spice. Lemon juice drizzled over the wholesome Brussels sprouts; turn these sprouts into a uniquely delicious and healthful vegetable serving.
Pan-tossed Brussels Sprout in South-Indian Flavors
1 lb Brussels sprouts, outer leaves removed and halved
2 tablespoons canola oil
½ teaspoon mustard seeds
1 Thai green chili or Serrano pepper, slit for a spicier edge
2-3 curry leaves*
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
¼ teaspoon ground red chili or Cayenne pepper
¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
¼ teaspoon salt or to taste
¼ teaspoon Garam Masala
2 teaspoons lemon
Chopped cilantro as garnish
*if curry leaves are unavailable, leave them out, there’s plenty of flavor going on in the dish.
Heat the canola oil really well in a pan, but don’t let it smoke. Reduce the flame to low and add mustard seeds, garlic, whole green chili and curry leaves; there should be a sizzle and crackle. Always watch out for splattering as you add ingredients to hot oil.
Stir in Brussels sprouts and let the tempering coat all the pieces. Then sprinkle ground red chili/cayenne pepper, turmeric and salt over the sprouts. Add a tablespoon or two of water, turn the flame down, cover and let the sprouts cook in steam for 5 minutes. If you prefer them softer, cook the Brussels sprouts for a few more minutes.
Once cooked, drizzle lemon juice and chopped cilantro over the Brussels sprouts. Serve warm as an entree or side to your favorite meat, fish or vegetable.