Monday, March 26, 2012

Broccoli sabzi :: Meatless Masala Monday

Usually when I get a beautiful head of broccoli in my CSA box, I enter into autopilot mode and make our absolute favorite broccoli dish: parmesan roasted broccoli with lemon zest and garlic. Even though it is a side dish, we eat it like chips around here and sometimes even neglect the main course. 

Sometimes when I'm craving Indian flavors, I make a very simple broccoli sabzi (in Hindi) or shaak (in Gujarati).  Pictured below is bell pepper and besan (chick pea flour) subzi,  broccoli nu shaak, and roti.

My mom used to make this delicious broccoli shaak when I was growing up. As shocking as it may sound, I was one of those kids you hear about who actually asked for broccoli! Before I left for college, my mother made sure that I knew how to make this quick and easy broccoli sabzi. When I craved a home cooked meal throughout college, I would buy a bag of frozen broccoli florets from Trader Joe's, set up my hot plate in my dorm room, pull out my only pot, masala dubba, and a tasty Indian dinner would be ready in about 10 minutes. 

Now, of course, I cut beautiful fresh broccoli into florets and dinner is ready in about 15 minutes. It is quick, healthy and delicious, perfect for satisfying any cravings for Indian food during the week. Serve hot with roti or with yogurt.

Broccoli sabzi (broccoli nu shaak)
1 head of broccoli, cut into florets
2 tbsp canola or vegetable oil
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp ajwan
2 dried red chiles
pinch of asofetida
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp red cayenne pepper
2 1/2 tsp ground coriander
2 1/2 tsp ground cumin
salt to taste

Heat 2 tbsp canola or vegetable oil. Add cumin seeds, ajwan seeds and 2 dried red chiles. Once the seeds start to sizzle, add a pinch of asofetida. Add broccoli florets. Add turmeric, red cayenne pepper, ground cumin and ground coriander. Season with salt. Stir to coat well.

Add 1/3 cup of water, enough to coat the bottom of the pan. Cover and let cook until tender, about 5 to 7 minutes. Uncover and increase heat to evaporate any remaining cooking liquid. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.

Serve hot with roti.

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