The other day, in the middle of a busy work-from-home snow day, I made up a plate of food for Jay, with some dal, rice, chapati, and these Pan-Roasted Brussels Sprouts.
Mealtimes are always a little suspenseful around the little fusspot, but like I’ve told you before, dal and rice are always a safe bet and I was pretty confident he’d eat it up. All except the Brussels sprouts, a vegetable he’s only had once before since he came home to us, and that time was memorable for all the wrong reasons.
So imagine my surprise when I walked in to check on him just five minutes later and found they were the first thing to have disappeared from his plate. Even as I looked around suspiciously, wondering if they’d found their way down the garbage disposal, he asked for– and polished off– a second serving right before my eyes. And then he declared: “I love this vegetable.”
I couldn’t help show off with that little true story to convince you that these Pan-Roasted Brussels Sprouts are, in a single word, awesome. The pan roasting makes them lightly golden and perfectly al dente, and the chickpea dumplings give them a clean, healthy deliciousness that other famous Brussels sprouts partner– bacon — just cannot match.
My favorite way to eat Brussels sprouts so far has been to oven-roast them, and that recipe is pretty awesome too, but I think this one simply knocks it out of the park. Try it the next time you get some fresh, green, sprouts at the market. You’ll be back for more too.
Pan-Roasted Brussels Sprouts
- 1 pound Brussels sprouts, halved, or if very large, quartered
- 1 medium onion, thinly sliced, then cut through the middle so you have quarter-moons.
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tsp coconut or other vegetable oil
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 1/2 cup chickpea flour or besan
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/4 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp crushed cumin seeds
- Salt to taste
- Heat the oil in a wide saucepan or wok. Add the mustard seeds and, when they sputter, add the onions and garlic.
- Sprinkle on some salt and saute, stirring frequently, until the onions are translucent, about three to four minutes.
- Add the brussels sprouts and stir to mix. Turn the heat to low. If you have a heavy lid with a diameter slightly smaller than that of the saucepan, use it to cover the sprouts while at the same time pressing down on them. Otherwise, just cover the saucepan and let the sprouts cook. Stir every three or four minutes to make sure they are roasting evenly.
- When the sprouts are lightly golden brown and almost al dente, tender but with a pleasant bite, mix the besan flour in a small bowl with 3/4 cup of water, cayenne, turmeric, cumin and salt.
- Pour into the brussels sprouts. The besan will start firming up as it heats. Scrape with a spatula, the way you would cook scrambled eggs, and continue to cook another 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until the besan is cooked through and don't have a raw flavor any more.
- Check salt, garnish with coriander leaves if desired, and serve hot.