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Re: The definition of I can cook
That idea of bringing spices is interesting, that you you know you can make make the secrete sauce.
OK I'll bite (figuratively) what do you do to spice up Broccoli?
I like Thai too, we have a restaurant down the street and like their food.
I have been using Madhur Jaffrey's "Indian Cooking" book for about 20 years now. I suppose I am partial to Indian cuisine.
While there is not a specific recipe for broccoli in her book I would substitute broccoli for cabbage or cauliflower in any recipe.
Indian food is great for those who wish to eat less meat.
The recipe I would use for broccoli is for the dish "cabbage with peas". The only exotic spices you would need are: whole cumin seeds, turmeric, garam masala and green chilies (optional). You could substitute your favorite curry powder for the garam masala and green chilies.
The more mundane ingredients are: sliced vegetable (cabbage, cauliflower &/or broccoli), frozen peas, cooking oil, bay leaves, cayenne pepper, salt & pinch of sugar.
The crux of this recipe involves heating up oil in the pan until hot. Toss in 1 tbsp of cumin seeds, a few bay leaves and allow to brown for about 1 minute.
At this point add vegetables, 1 tsp (or more) turmeric and cayenne (if using), lower heat and cover until tender (5 minutes). Add green chili, salt, sugar; stir to mix. Cover and cook on low heat another 2-3 minutes. Remove cover and sprinkle with garam masala.
This recipe would still taste good if you only used whole cumin seeds, turmeric and cayenne and added finely chopped garlic and/or shallot.
Great plain or with rice. Cook time < 15 minutes. Prep time: minimal.
I bring my own spices because you can't find garam masala, cumin seeds, green chilis and even turmeric in most "white bread" US supermarkets.
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