One very simple broccoli recipe I sometimes make for quick weeknight dinners is to toss around some chopped garlic in olive oil, and then add broccoli florets to it. A few stirs to tenderize the broccoli to the point where it still has a slight crunch, some salt, and you’ve got a delicious plate of goodness that’s heaven for the tastebuds and the soul, not to mention your health.
Now for the paruppu usili. Although I’ve been married to a Tamil guy for years, I had not cooked this fabulous side dish until only recently. When I did, I couldn’t stop making it. It is easy, quick, and tremendously nutritious, and can be made with numerous veggies, although the most traditional version appears to be made with broad beans or green beans.
Last week, with some broccoli florets sitting around in my refrigerator crying out to be used, I had a devilish idea: why not? Marrying this bland vegetable with the delicious lentil-masala mix that is the basis of paruppu usili sounded like a match made in heaven. So out I set to do just that, and the results were so good, I couldn’t wait to share them with you.
So here’s my Broccoli Paruppu Usili- delicious, healthy and deeply satisfying. Unlike some cooks, I don’t steam the lentil paste first- I find that stirring it for a few minutes in the 1 tbsp of oil one would anyway use for this dish is more than enough to cook the ground lentils.
I added some garlic to the lentil paste, because I love garlic and can eat it in almost anything, and also because I find it always really enhances broccoli which tends to be a blank slate, tastewise.
Broccoli Paruppu Usili
For the paste:
2 tbsp tuvar dal
2 tbsp chana dal
2 dry red chilies
2 large cloves of garlic, chopped
1 pinch hing, or asafetida
Salt to taste
1 head broccoli, separated into florets
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tbsp udad dal
1 tbsp canola oil
Salt to taste
Soak the tuvar dal and the chana dal in water for about two hours. Drain, and using as little water as possible, grind to a paste along with the other ingredients.
Steam or microwave 1 head of broccoli, separated into small florets, until it is quite tender but not falling apart or mushy.
Heat 1 tbsp oil in a skillet. Add 1 tsp mustard seeds and when they sputter, add 1 tbsp udad dal.
Add the lentil paste to it and stir fry around 10 minutes until the lentils darken in hue and no longer taste raw.
Add the broccoli and mix it in with a few stirs.
Check the salt and remove from the heat. Serve hot.
I’ve had some bad luck with my babies lately that has kept me from blogging more frequently. Lucy and Opie were both really sick last week from an intestinal infection. Also, my sister-in-law, Padmavathy, or Paddu, was visiting with us over the weekend. I picked up some nifty traditional Tamil recipes from her that I will share over the coming weeks.
I’ll leave you with a picture of my kitty, Pubm, who loves to find new places to make herself comfortable in. Last week, after Paddu had left, guess who decided to take over her comforter?
Also, I am experimenting a bit with the look of my blog. Any comments/suggestions would be welcome!