Brussel sprouts... we either love them or hate them. For those of you still unsure, this recipe by Cyrus Todiwala, Head Chef at London's Cafe Spice offers a fresh twist to cooking the much debated vegetable.

Ingredients

  1. 2-3 tbsp of freshly grated coconut (or desiccated coconut, soaked in a little water)
  2. 1 tsp of mustard seeds
  3. 2 medium sized finely mined green chillies
  4. 1 heaped tsp of White Lentil or Urad Daal
  5. 1/2 tsp of Cumin seeds
  6. 1 tsp of chopped Ginger
  7. 1/4 tsp Assafoetida (if available)
  8. 1 small coarsely chopped Onion (optional)
  9. 2 tbsp of Sunflower Oil
  10. Salt (as desired)
  11. 10-12 shredded Brussel Sprouts (you may need a small amount of water dependant on condition)
  12. 10-12 thinly shredded curry leaves
  13. 1 tbsp of freshly chopped Coriander
A photograph of Cyrus Rustom Todiwalas OBE

Method

Brussels sprouts are perfect and really fabulous. All you need to do is to cut them into half, remove the core stub off the base and shred them as thinly as you can. You will need no more than three to four minutes of cooking at best. Keep them crunchy and fresh looking and you shall have a great meal, cook them or try to cook them just minutes before serving.

Heat the oil in a frying pan and pop the mustard seeds. Remember to use a mesh or loose lid to prevent the seeds from spluttering and jumping all over. Add the white lentil as soon as the spluttering subsides a little, as soon as they change colour add the cumin and in a few seconds, the shredded curry leaves the ginger and green chilli.

In a few seconds add the asafetida, stir for a few seconds and add the chopped onions if you wish to use them along with the coconut.

Stir for a minute or until the coconut gives off a nutty aroma & add the shredded Brussels sprouts (You may need a small amour of water just in case to moisten the pan, however I prefer not to most of the times if it is to be consumed immediately).

A photograph of a bowl of Cyrus Todiwala's Brussel Sprouts

Cover this with a tight lid for a minute or two at best, so that it will cook in the steam then open the lid and stir on low fire till dry. You can see that there is a chance that you may destroy the vegetables. We prefer ours crunchy so cook accordingly if you prefer them that way, by not covering the pan.

For this preparation one can also use, Bean Sprouts, French Beans, Beetroot, Carrot, Beans of every kind are great, they simply need to be well boiled first, or shredded very finely then just blended in and dried if necessary.

Tendli or Tindora the small marrow is great and so are all other kind of marrow, red pumpkin, all squashes, and various kinds of mushrooms especially the chestnut and oyster types. Potato is OK, OK but still not so bad.

I like to add freshly chopped coriander you can if you like the flavour. Just please use your imagination. This is an absolutely fantastic way to cook vegetables and is most enjoyable if you like the flavour of coconut.

Cyrus