I bought some lovely tender stem broccoli from the farmer’s market on Sunday. I wanted to elevate it to top billing in a dish rather than the, green vegetable on the side of something else, that it can so often be thoughtlessly demoted to.
One of the most successful recipes on my blog (as in most viewed) is a delicious broccoli as the star dish. It’s my version of an Ottolenghi recipe for Chargrilled Broccoli with Garlic, Chilli & Sweet Soy Rice Noodles. It’s still one of The Washer Up’s favourites, and mine. I don’t make it as often as I would like because chargrilling the broccoli on my striped grill pan fills the kitchen (and the rest of the house) with smoke. Our extractor fan is useless. I think it actually blows the smoke into the kitchen rather than extracting it, so I have to leave the front door open to let it all out. It might need cleaning I suppose. *Buries head in sand*.
This is a quick and easy supper or lunch dish that can be thrown together in about half an hour. That is a real 30 minutes by the way, not a Jamie Oliver 30 minutes. Which is more like 60 minutes in human time in case you were wondering.
Indian Spiced Broccoli with Yellow Lentils and Toasted Almonds
Serves 2 as a light lunch/supper with some Indian bread. Easily doubled.
- 2 tsp coconut oil (or any cooking oil)
about 225 g tender stem broccoli or florets
- 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
- 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 green chilli, finely chopped (deseed for less heat)
- 1 Tbsp minced ginger
- 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
- 1/2 tsp ground coriander
- 125 g dried yellow lentils (or any quick cook lentil)
- 250 g + veg stock
- salt & black pepper
- a handful of chopped fresh coriander
- 1/2 lemon
- a handful of flaked almonds (or cashews) toasted in a dry pan until lightly browned
Heat the oil in a large pan over a medium high heat, add the cumin seeds & mustard seeds and cook until they start to pop. Add in the onion, garlic, chilli & ginger with a pinch of salt and cook for about 4 minutes until softened. Then add the lentils, turmeric and ground coriander stirring to coat the lentils and pour in 250 ml stock.
Bring to the boil then lower the heat and simmer, covered for about 12 minutes (depending on the lentils) until they are tender soft. Lay the broccoli on top of the lentils and add a good splash of veg stock, season well with salt & pepper, bring to the boil again then lower the heat and simmer, covered again for about 5 minutes until the broccoli is tender but still crisp.
Add most of the fresh coriander and a squeeze of lemon juice and taste. Adjust seasoning as required.
Serve topped with some toasted flaked almonds, the rest of the fresh coriander and a wedge of lemon to squeeze over.
And no need to use (or clean) the grill pan or the extractor. Result.
Happy Valentine’s Day!