Wednesday, February 04, 2009

turmeric Veggies! (a recipe)

A little background about this dish and the creator first. The recipe turmeric veggies was created by my husband T and it is based off a traditional dish his mother and grandmother made called green beans thoren. T's family is originally from a southern state in India called Kerala. I do not have any clear amounts and measures of anything so this might require a spirit of adventure and the willingness to taste the dish as you go. We do not have any written recipes for the curries we learned from T's mother — we just had to remember what she taught us and go with it. Maybe I will do a curry recipe in another post. One of the best recipe books for southern Indian cuisine I have found is "Curried Favors" by Maya Kaimal MacMillan. I have made some dishes from this book and my husband thought it tasted pretty close to his mothers and wondered how I had done it. Good enough endorsement for me!

Ok, on to the turmeric veggies recipe. One note first: T calls it "turmeric veggies" because you can make it with any vegetables you want. We usually do a base of green beans but it would be tasty with broccoli too. You will notice in the picture above we threw some green bell pepper in as well. Red bell pepper looks pretty and adding mushrooms makes it earthy. Another note: get black mustard seeds from a specialty or spice store. My favorite spice store in Chicago is The Spice House and my favorite in Detroit is in Eastern Market (Oh how I miss you Eastern Market!) and is called Rafal Spice Company. Of course, any Indian grocery stores should have black mustard seeds as well. Turmeric should be widely available.

1 Yellow Onion (cut into thin strips, not diced)
Black Mustard Seeds
1 bag frozen Green Beans
Any other vegetables you like
Cayenne Pepper
Red Pepper Flakes
Turmeric (the namesake)

Directions (as best as I can describe them): Put some oil in a wok or pan (we like olive oil). Add about 1-2 Tablespoons black mustard seeds to the oil and then add the onions. Add garlic (we like 3+ cloves) and 1/4-1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger (to taste). Saute the onions until they are carmelized. Add the green beans and any other vegetable and cook until they are tender. Season with turmeric, salt, cayenne pepper and red pepper flakes to taste. If you can't handle spicy leave out the cayenne and red pepper flakes. The turmeric is not spicy. I don't have a specific measurement on turmeric because T just keeps adding turmeric until it gets that green/yellow color you see in the picture. Here's where you keep tasting to see if it's seasoned the way you like it.

I hope you like the recipe!

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