Friday, October 16, 2009

Bollywood Brussels Sprouts..Now With Dosas!

This is the time of year when in markets all over America, Brussels sprouts are blooming. Big stalks of these little sprouts stand ready to be par-boiled, burnt and over cooked on Thanksgiving tables everywhere, sending little kids screaming in terror and vowing never to eat these green colored rocks again. Maybe I've never met a vegetable that I didn't like, but I personally think that Brussels sprouts have gotten a bad rap as tough, bitter, and stinky. In defense of Brussels sprouts I have only one thing to say, you be nice to them and they'll be nice to you. By that I mean, if they're cooked properly, it's like an entire Autumn in your mouth, it's Grandmas's Thanksgiving table, it's the Canada geese flying over, it's the frost on the pumpkin....mmmmm pumpkin!
But I digress. I've cooked brussels sprouts in a variety of ways, but my new favorite is a spicy Bollywood version, that I put together the other day.
I'd originally started out with green beans, but then I saw those stalks of Brussels sprouts and just had to buy them. So I did. But instead of cooking them like Brussels sprouts, I cooked them as I was going to cook my string beans in my version of a recipe from Lord Krishnas'Cuisine by Yamuna Devi.
So here's what I did to make those Brussels sprouts glitter like emeralds on a Bollywood Musical stars'neck.
I started out with about 20 Brussels sprouts. I chopped off the little stems and cut an X across the bottom. Then I steamed them for about 8 to 10 minutes. After that I set them aside.
Now for the sauce.
In a blender or food processor drop in
1.) 1 Tbs of cashews
2.) 1 whole green serrano chili cut in pieces
3.) 3/4 cup of plain yogurt
4.) a 1 inch piece of ginger peeled and sliced
5.) 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
6.) 1 Tbs of white poppy seeds
Blend it all up into a thick pale green cream

Next, In a deep skillet or Karhai
7.) melt 1 Tbs of unsalted butter
8.)Toss in 6 fresh curry leaves or 1/2 of a bay leaf (remember to take the bay leaf out before serving, don't eat it)

9.)When the curry leaves have started to sizzle, toss in your Brussels sprouts and
10.) A pinch of ground nutmeg and
11.) Your creamy green yogurt sauce and
12.) 1/2 tsp of salt.

Stir it all around and cook it until the sauce starts to thicken. It will look like this when it's close to done.

Finally, when your sauce has thickened, and your sprouts are ready, serve them. Once you have them this way, you'll never go back to browned butter and slivered almonds again.
About The Dosas
I mentioned dosas at the top of this blog and Alan and I had an amazing Dosa experience yesterday. It was rainy and messy in Sonoma.

So, a very good friend took us to his favorite South Indian Restaurant in Marin County. It's Called OM South Indian Cuisine and it turns out it's the only South Indian Restaurant in Marin County, and it's really, really, really good!!
While I've had South Indian Food before, and I've been cooking a lot of recipes from that area, (since our friend is my authentication guru), I'd never had Dosas before. He told me before I try making them myself, I'd better have a good one. So, off to Om we went. I guess I never really understood how large a Dosa is until I went back to the kitchen and watched them make one. It's a beautiful, graceful process, at least it was the way these guys were doing it and the end result looked like a cross between a super-sized crepe and the largest burrito I'd ever seen. Served with sambals and chutneys it was easily enough for the three of us.

But of course it wasn't.

Why stop with a humongous Dosa? We ordered a whole bunch of other things all of them excellent and then since Deepavali is coming up we topped it all off with bowls of sweet pongal.
A quick walk (we needed it) of four blocks took us to a great South Indian Market where I was able to refill my larder with all sorts of tasty basics. Those of you who live in a city as I once did will think, ha!, no big deal, what's she so excited about curry leaves for? Well, where I live it's a 50 mile round trip to get some not so fresh curry leaves and a couple of ridged gourds that look like they've been hit by a truck..if they even have any. So, that's why I was so excited. I know I got stoked over the three South Asian Markets I found close to home, but this was an Indian market and had everything I'd been looking for.
So now I have a mission. Make Dosas, and of course I'm going to have to do a lot of research which of course will involve many trips to Om and shopping excursions to the market with my little ice chest in the trunk of the car to keep everything crispy fresh on the long drive back up to Sonoma. It's a tough job, but somebody's got to do it!


  1. I love brussel sprouts, and am happy to report my children do as well. I usually go the sauteed/pancetta/balsamic route, but this sounds phenominal!

  2. kathy i love, brussls, n this seems innovative, will surely try it

  3. yes, they're really great this way, creamy and spicy.

  4. wow thats quite a recipe sounds wonderful! thanks wish I had it before we ate them all....:)

  5. I want to love brussel sprouts, Kathy! I'm going to give them another try.

  6. @Lois...well,let me know if this works for you!

  7. How creative! :D I've always liked sprouts but this just gives me more of a reason to eat them! x

  8. I love love love brussel sprouts. I will have to make these soon.

  9. Wow! This looks absolutely fabulous! I can't wait to try :)

  10. Brussels sprouts. Not a big fan at all. Maybe just maybe this may do the trick.

  11. My family love brussel sprouts, great to find another way to cook them, I am sure to give it a try when they come into season here.

  12. You are so right about having to be nice to Brussels sprouts in order for them to be nice to you. My mom habitually overcooks them, so naturally I compensate by habitually undercooking them! Well, maybe with a zippy sauce like this one it will work out. Will have to experiment before Thanksgiving.

  13. Hi Kathy
    I was reading your post on Dosa and thought I could just help you with a clarification. "Sambal" in Tamil(one of the South Indian Languages) means ash whereas the gravy you had with Dosa is Sambhar. :)
    If you need a recipe for Sambhar please do let me know

  14. sure..I'd love to try any recipe you'd like to share!

  15. wow this is amazing! I love brussels sprouts. I bet that cilantro sauce was just perfect.



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