Sprouts divide opinion amongst the masses and my guess would be that the pendulum would swing more towards those that don’t like them than do. I think this is largely due to the boiled, overcooked way that we had them in school growing up. Overcooked sprouts are really not that exciting for the palate right?
However, over the years people have begun to be a little more inventive on how to prepare these little winter delicacies, the most ubiquitous being to serve them with chestnuts and pancetta or bacon. Only last week, when I had sprouts on the brain, and was thinking about posting my sprout recipe, I received this wonderful blog post in my inbox from the food blog ‘Garum Factory‘. If you have not come across this blog before I highly recommend you take a peek and follow them. Run by married US couple Ken (journalist, photographer and home cook ) and Judy (professional chef and restaurant owner) they offer a wonderful array of recipes, narrative and eye catching photos that really make you very hungry by the time you have finished reading the post. They had posted a fabulous sprout recipe, with an original new twist that will definitely appeal to a wide audience and one that I will definitely be cooking over the next few months.
To continue with the sprout theme, since it’s the season and all, I wanted to show you an Indian sprout and carrot curry. My mother-in-law cooked it for me years ago and I recall the first time I ate it, I couldn’t identify the vegetable being sprouts initially. Shame on me I know, but you’ll see what I mean when you cook it! I know I sound like a stuck record on this blog but it really is absolutely delicious, takes no time to make and only requires a few ingredients (see photo below). If you cook it alongside a dal it makes a perfect vegetarian meal. Go on, be bold, and give it a try – you might even surprise yourself and like sprouts by the end of it. I am sure I will be able to convert a few of you at least…..leave a comment below and let me know.
Indian Sprout and Carrot Curry
325g sprouts, finely sliced
300g carrots, grated
1 green chilli, finely sliced (optional)
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 level tsp turmeric
1 tsp nigella seeds (kalo jeera)
1 tsp salt
1. Finely slice the sprouts, grate the carrots and, if using, finely chop the chilli. I tend to leave the seeds in, but to make it less spicy just remove the seeds.
2. Heat a pan with oil and add the nigella seeds. After 10 seconds add the chilli and turmeric and stir in together for a further 10 seconds.
3. Add the sprouts and carrots and stir well with the other ingredients. Continue to stir continuously on a medium heat so that the carrots and sprouts soften and do not burn. Use a wooden spoon to press down on the ingredients as you gently stir.
4. After a few minutes of stirring add 50ml of water and stir into the curry. You may find that you do not need to use the remaining 50ml of water if the sprouts and carrots are sufficiently softened. Add the salt to taste. Continue stirring for a further 5-7 minutes and the dish will be done.
Nigella seeds (above)