Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Brussels sprouts with kidney beans

Brussels sprouts is in season and is growing in plenty here. I have been making Brussels sprouts practically the same way since I tried it the first time, using a recipe from a German book, by cooking it with carrots, onion and garlic slices and a can of tomatoes and at the very end adding some parsley and after switching off the heat topping it with about 50 g of Gouda until it melted. I make some modifications sometimes by leaving out Gouda and making it a bit Indian by adding cumin, turmeric and ground coriander seeds to it in the very beginning. A few days ago I felt that I need to make a proper Indian curry with it and was surprised at the thought that in all these years I never tried it.
The next day I bought Brussels sprouts and also found a nice looking fresh coconut and again couldn't resist buying it, even though I have had bad experiences with it the last two times I bought it and had to practically throw them away. This time luckily after I opened it, it was all OK and looked very good. The water was so tasty that I even gave it to sunny boy to drink and he happily drank it all away.
So, I knew I would like to use coconut in the gravy and started thinking of how it would look like and got going that afternoon and was very pleasantly surprised by the wonderful results.

Brussels sprouts with kidney beans

Recipe by PG of My Kitchen Stories

350 g Brussels sprouts, outermost leaves peeled and the stems (the base) cut off, and halved if desired
3 medium potatoes, peeled, and cubed about the same size as the Brussels sprouts
1 can kidney beans (250 g), rinsed in water and drained - use more if desired
2 carrots, peeled and sliced into thin rings (optional, I left it out this time)
1 small can (300 g) tomatoes, chopped coarsely
2 tbsp rapeseed oil or olive oil
salt to taste


1 tsp cumin
1 tsp black mustard seeds
1 large pinch asafoetida, crushed
2 red chillies (optional) - I kept them separate as sunny boy doesn't eat hot food much yet
10 peppercorns
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp sambhar powder - home made (use 1 tsp if not using garam masala)
1/2 tsp garam masala (use 1 tsp if not using sambhar powder)
a few curry leaves (I used dried leaves)

Onion-coconut paste (grind with a blender):

1 yellow onion, chopped coarsely
1-2 large garlic, chopped coarsely
1 " ginger, peeled and chopped coarsely
3 square inch piece of fresh coconut, grated

  • clean and cut the vegetables, prepare the onion paste
  • heat oil in a large saute pan, reduce heat if required and add the mustard seeds when the oil is just about hot so that they splutter
  • to check if the oil is hot enough, add one or two seeds first and see if they splutter, if yes, then proceed, but keep the vegetables handy so that the spices don't get burnt
  • after adding the mustard, while it is spluttering, add the cumin and let both splutter for a few seconds and add the asafoetida, peppercorns and turmeric, mix once
  • immediately add the onion paste, fry on medium heat till it gets a nice light brown colour
  • add potatoes and stir everything to mix and cook for about 5 minutes covered, stirring in between
  • add Brussels sprouts and carrots and stir
  • add the sambhar powder, garam masala and the curry leaves, stir
  • add 1 cup water and cook further till the vegetables are almost done, stirring in between
  • add the kidney beans and cook for another 5 minutes
  • serve warm with steamed rice

We ate the beans and Brussels sprouts with steamed rice. Honestly, none of us in my family is a big fan of Brussels sprouts, but we try to cook it at home as it is a seasonal vegetable and I believe that seasonal vegetables should always be coming on our plates, even if not too often. So, I always try to make them in some or the other way. But, this is the first time that I heard from hubby that he liked it and I also felt that it had turned out so good. All the ingredients blend so well with each other.
Apart from the coconut, what made this dish so special was the use of the kidney beans. They made the dish perfect and wholesome. I was very happy to have had this idea of adding the kidney beans. To me it was important that I add some legume, as without the legumes, if you want to keep the dish vegetarian, the meal is not so wholesome because of it being quite low and imbalanced in amino acids - the protein building blocks, especially when you also have a child at home.
Back home in India, I grew up with eating a legume dish every day as a vegetarian. My mom made it a point that we eat every day at least one katori (a small bowl) of Dal, which is any of the legumes, skinned or with skin, but split into the two halves -the cotyledons of the seed - a bean here). In India vegetarianism is a way of life, since ages. But, in a vegetarian diet it is very very important that one uses different sources of proteins to cover the complete variety of the 24 amino acids which our body requires to grow (for children) and maintain our body healthy. That is why I always try to cook legumes at least 2 times weekly, even though I do cook fish and chicken every now and then.
Now, I actually had planned to submit another dish, a daal, for the MLLA event, but after I made this dish I knew it had to be this one. So, here is my entry to this month's My legume Love Affair created by Susan of The Well Seasoned Cook and being hosted this time by Suganya of The Tasty Palette (I know her mainly through a number of her wonderful shots in the CLICK events of Jugalbandi).


Soma said...

Very nice combination of stuffs PG. Can u believe that i tasted Brussels sprouts for the firs time last weekend? I actually like it now:-)

Happy New Yeat to u & Family!

Priya said...

WOw looks fabulous..never tried brussels sprouts with any legumes..

Happy New year to u n ur family!!!

Curry Leaf said...

Good and new combo.I too believe seasonal vegetables should be tried atleast once ,I actually roast brussel sprouts with powders-indian way-tgh never used sambar powder with it.Perfect dish for the winter and the event.

anudivya said...

Hey PG, I have never cooked with brussel sprouts before. It looks so healthy.
Happy New Year.

Curry Leaf said...

PG Dear,Comments have been disabled.I am not sure how & why.But I wanted to express my humble opinion on the wonderful creation.I love it.I agree with your husband also.Too much butter tastes good and am 100% sure is much better than commercial packaged one.Since you like oranges,instead of rum you can use orange juice for soaking.
Thanks for the info from 'eltern'I did not know that and believed that alcohol evaporates.Thanks.Take care of the comments section and will fill your ears with more opinion. :D :P Once again PERFECT STOLLEN.I love the way you made it.

PG said...

A very Happy New Year to you all!
Curry leaf thank you so much for pointing out about the comments being disabled. I don't know how it happenend. But, I have corrected it.
Thanks a lot for th good tip about orange juice! I think I have even done this before, but didn't think of it this time.
It has been wonderful knowing you all and that you all bear with me too. :)

Ivy said...

Happy New Year to you and yours. I am posting today Red kidney beans and it was the first time I tried them. Must give Brussels sprouts another chance as I am not very fond of them and your recipes seems perfect.