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Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Broccoli-Green Pepper and green peas

I don't know about others but I have to be in a mood to cook broccoli and eat broccoli. I kinda think of broccoli as a delicate vegetable, which needs an expert touch to cook.
I don't consider myself as an expert but I have a certain way of cooking broccoli.
If you really want to have all the benefits of eating broccoli, do not microwave it or boil it in water, as both the techniques will kill all the vital nutrients from broccoli. "Always, always steam the broccoli" (hear the echo)!
I love this combination because the green pepper gives it a nice background and green peas gives it a sweet balance of taste.

You will need:

1 pound broccoli florets (fresh or frozen) fresh tastes much better
1 green pepper
1/2 cup green peas
1 medium onion chopped
2 tbps tomato paste
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
salt to taste
2 tbsp oil

If you are using fresh broccoli, you got to steam it. If using frozen (please do not thaw in the microwave). Just let the broccoli sit on you counter to thaw till you do the other preparation.

Heat the oil in a pan and add cumin seeds and let it splutter, now add the chopped onion and saute till its translucent, now add the chili powder and saute for another minute or two and add the tomato paste, now the technique is to caramelize the tomato paste, it's going to stick to the bottom but you have to constantly stir and caramelize it.
This imparts such a nice flavor to the dish. You can add just a bit of water if you think it's sticking too much.. Now add the green pepper and stir fry till the green pepper is kind of soft, then add the green peas and fry for another minute and now add the steamed broccoli and salt and cover just till the masala incorporates into the vegetables. This is kind of a stir-fry vegetable so, serve it on a bed of plain rice. You can also eat with regular chapati, dal and rice.

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