We had a bunch of Brussels Sprouts to cook up. After the usual slit-and-stuff or spicy-curry or kootu or sambar, or the few other ways I've cooked them, this time I decided to make a Brussels sprouts fete by cooking it three ways to showcase it and savor it.
For faster finish, I par-cooked the Brussels sprouts in the microwave and then finished them differently for a quick spread.
I. Brussels Sprouts Pan-fried with Black Sesame Seeds, Nigella Seeds, Poppy Seeds, Black Pepper and Coconut Spice Mix
Ingredients: Black Sesame Seeds et al. Spice Mix (Ellu-Molagu Podi), coconut oil, Curry leaves (optional, for garnish), red onions diced, salt to taste
Heat coconut oil in a pan, sauté the onions, add the par-cooked Brussels sprouts, some salt and some of the Black Sesame seeds et al. Spice Mix (adjust to taste).
Of course, any favorite spice mix would be good, I was leaning towards Ras al Hanout but have already shared that recipe here, so, went with the Black Sesame Seed et al. Mix instead.
The Black Sesame Seeds et al. Spice Mix (Ellu-Molagu Podi) can be made in advance and stored in an air-tight container in the fridge for about 3 months. I vary the spices a bit, change the proportions a bit each time I make it. It lends itself to a distinctive flavor for many pan-fried vegetables. On occasion, I heat coconut oil or gingelly oil in a pan, add the spice mix, some cooked rice, season with salt and enjoy the flavored rice as-is.
2 to 3 Tbsp dry grated coconut (unsweetened)
2 Tbsp black sesame seeds
2 Tbsp whole black pepper
1 tsp poppy seeds
1 tsp nigella seeds
1-inch piece of Indian Cinnamon bark
Toast the ingredients lightly till aromatic and grind to a smooth powder. Save in an air-tight container. Refrigerate in warm places (it can go rancid).
Nigella seeds is extensively used in Indian cooking. For this recipe, it can be left out.
II. Brussels Sprouts with Asian Flavors
Ingredients: 1 tsp Kecap Manis, 1 tsp Sambal Oelek, 1 tsp Rice vinegar, 1 tsp sesame oil, 2 cups cooked brussel sprouts; 1 tsp toasted sesame seeds (for garnish).
Heat the sesame oil in a pan, add all the ingredients and toss to combine, garnish and serve warm.
III. Brussels Sprouts and Manathakkali (Black Nightshade) Vatthal Kuzhambu
Vatthal Kuzhambu is a staple in many parts of South India. (One of my versions of Vatthal Kuzhambu recipe here).
The berries and leaves from Manathakkali (Black Nightshade) plant is also used widely in South India. The dried berries are primarily used to make Vatthal Kuzhambu and the leaves are used much like any other greens, say spinach or mustard greens.
Manathakkali Vatthal Kuzhambu is one of my mom's specialty. Here, I follow the recipe much like my Bittergourd Vatthal Kuzhambu, but add plenty of dried manathakkali berries and curry leaves and garlic cloves. Instead of bittergourd, I use Brussels sprouts.
I like Vatthal Kuzhambu with rice, but also enjoy dipping naan or roti in it and savoring the strong flavor.