Last night Mai and I cooked a welcome dinner for my new roommates. It consisted of Brussels Sprouts in coconut milk, carrot-yam-pumpkin crumble, and samosas. I don’t know that the dishes were so complimentary but I can confirm that it all came out delicious and all that labor intensive chopping, stirring, rolling and crimping was well worth it.
We started with the crumble since it would take the longest, then preparing the dough for samosas, and brussels sprouts were last. The recipes all came from Heaven’s Banquet: The Maharishi Ayurveda Cookbook, which I have slight hesitations approaching in fear it will be too healthy, bland, and sugarless but this was definitely no disappointment.
For the crumble I took the liberty to add chunks of pumpkin and yam to the carrot crumble recipe, and it went from what would have been a light main dish to warm, rich, buttery, thick, nourishing comfort food. The crumble was dry and nutty (I replaced sunflower seeds with pecans and almonds), the insides were pretty neutral except for the occasional kick from the ginger shreds. It slightly resembles sweet potato pie minus all the sugar incorporated with mashed potatoes, which is good.
The mash pie crumble eventually found itself being experimented on via the brussels sprouts sauce. This was a super easy to make dish and so delicious. I don’t quite understand what everyone’s beef is with this item, it’s like cabbage except tangier, more tasteful, and mini. The coconut milk provided a rich but not too thick support system for a crunchy juxtaposition and it was amazing when dipped by the other dishes. A winner of a plate this was indeed.
Once upon a time, there was samosa. These crinkly puffy crunchy things were intimidating to create but if you’re an anal recipe follower by the verbatim then this was a success waiting to happen. I was not used to the dough not being all gooey and fragile the way it is for baked good, I was worried because it was so dry and stretchy, like artist erasers. The crimping was the hardest which Mai had to show me, basically fold over and squeeze, I was afraid they would burst open but because the wok probably wasn’t hot enough the frying was a gentle sizzling process. This would be a great multi-experience project for children. I sure was giddy about them. My only mistake was adding too much cayenne so all you really tasted was whatever came out your runny nose. We didn’t have a dip or chutney prepared so we used whatever we could find in the fridge, this case being sour cream, that plus the sprout sauce. Some impromptu creating, but it came out delicious.
I was very happy with this meal, a bit heavy and thick but individually they are each a gem of a dish.
On a side note, add Wristcutters to your queue. I’ve always loved Shannon Sossaman and she was quirkier and hotter than ever in this movie.
Carrot (Yam/Pumpkin) Crumble:
7 cups sliced carrots (yam/pumpkin: about 2.5 cups each)
3 to 4 tablespoons ghee or butter
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons raw or dark brown sugar
1/4 cup wheat germ
1/4 cup sunflower seeds (I used almonds and pecans)
1/4 cup rolled oats (I used Irish oatmeal)
1/2 cup whole wheat flour (I used white)
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons ghee or melted butter
1 tablespoon water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Steam the carrots (yam/pumpkin) until very tender. Drain well.
Puree the veggies with ghee/butter, spices and sugar. Add salt to taste.
Place the wheat germ, seeds, and oats in a blender/processor and blend to a powder. Mix with the flour and salt. Add the ghee/butter and the water and mix to a crumbly texture.
Spread the carrot mixture in a buttered baking dish. Sprinkle the crumbly topping evenly over it. Bake until the topping is browned, 40 to 45 minutes
Brussel Sprouts with Cream
1 1/2 pounds brussels sprouts (which only came out to like 8, so we tossed that number and added about 18 or so)
2 tablespoons ghee or butter
pinch of hing (optional)
1 cup thick coconut milk (I used a whole can)
salt & pepper
Trim stems, shred (i made into chunks)
Melt ghee/butter in large skillet or wok. Add hing and sprouts and saute over medium heat, stirring constantly until just barely tender.
Add coconut milk, cook over high heat for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring constantly, until the cream is distributed and slightly reduced. Season to taste with salt and plety o’pepper.
Variations: add cooked peeled chestnuts or toasted cashews to the finished dish
Add a little rosemary to the ghee/butter (which we did, and basel)
Replace sprouts with cabbage
2 cups unbleached white flour
1/4 cup melted ghee or butter
1/2 cup (approximately) water
3 tablespoons ghee or butter
pinch of hing (optional)
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 1/2 cups peeled, coarsely chopped potatoes or cauliflower
2/3 cup peas
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground fenugreek
1/2 teaspoon sugar
oil for deep frying
To prepare dough:
Sift the flour. Add the melted ghee or butter and mix ine nough water to form a soft, nonsticky dough.
Turn out on a floured board. Knead lightly just a few times, cover, and set aside to rest while preparing the filling.
To prepare filling:
Melt the ghee or butter in a skillet. Add the hing and cumin and saute over low heat until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the potatoes or cauliflower and saute, stirring frequently, until they begin to soften, 10 to 15 minutes.
Add the peas, spices, and sugar. Continue to saute until the potatoes and peas are tender. Add salt to taste and cook for another 30 seconds.
Remove from the heat and mash to a rough, not completely smooth, consistency. Let cool to room temperature.
Divide the dough into 12 – 15 pieces (or 4 really large fat pieces like mine) and roll into 1 inch balls.
On a floured board, roll out to 3 1/2″ round (6″ for mine). Cut each in half
Place a spoonful of filling ona half round. Fold the dough in half to form a triangle. Make a thin paste of flour and water and moisten the edges with it. Pinch closed.
Heat the oil for deep-frying. Deep-fry until pale golden, drain on paper towels. Serve immediately.
Variations: add cayenne (apparently, I added too much)