Broccoli Alu Sabzi
So its raining broccoli and you are sick of eating it raw in Salad bars. Deep down in your heart, you believe the broccoli deserves better treatment. Welcome to my world!
Two broccoli clusters)
4 red potatoes (or regular potatoes)
3 Cloves (lavang)
1/2 Cinnamon stick
2 dry cardamoms (elaichi)
2 bay leaves (tej patta)
A sprinkling of cumin seeds (jeera)
Mustard seeds (sarson)
sprinkling of Asafoetida (heeng)
1 Finely chopped onion
1 finely chopped tomato
2 dried chillis (optional)
Large cooking pot
Chop two large broccoli clusters (after washing it thoroughly, you bachelor!) and chop it up into bite-sized pieces. Throw the bottom of the stalk away (take care only to throw the hardest portions away). Chop potatoes with their skin. If you are coming from India, then you might probably be used to the nawabi(royal) practice of removing the skin, and with it, all its nutrients. Its time to grow up and get nutritious. You will develop a taste for unskinned potatoes very quickly.
Drop the broccoli and potatoes into the pressure cooker. And water thats twice the quantity of the broccoli and potatoes. Add 2 teaspoons of salt. Close the pressure cooker and let one whistle go by. Wait for 10 minutes and let off the remaining steam. Open the lid.
Heat 2 teaspoons of oil in the cooking pot. Drop into the mustard and cumin seeds. As these start crackling, throw in the cloves, cinnamon stick, cardamom and asafoetida (sprinkling only). Also add the bay leaves and if possible, dry chillis. The Japanese have taught us to enjoy every step of the process. Smell and be enraptured by your very own creation of fresh garam masala!
Now, add the onions and a little bit of tumeric (1/4 teaspoon only). Fry till the onion is golden brown. Add the tomatoes. Cook till the consistency is that of a paste (not all the way though). Add the boiled vegetables from the cooker, a bit at a time, and stir, so the masala gets into the vegetables. Make sure water doesn't enter just yet. Once all the vegetables have soaked in the masalas, add the water used to boil them - for this is rich in nutrients now. This becomes the curry.
Add salt to taste. Which means, first taste and figure out how much salt to add. Add one teaspoon at a time, mix and taste. Test-Driven cooking. Or taste-driven cooking. Suit yourself, techie bachelor!
The secret to the final delivery of the product is to lower the heat and let the dish integrate itself. Its hard to explain this one - you have to try to let it lose a little bit of heat. The taste just gets better (maybe your tongue doesn't get burned as much).
Do write to me if you've tried this. It shows you a whole different character of Broccoli.