Recipe for Green peas and Cauliflower cooked until just tender in gentle and fragrant Indian spices and seeds
4 to 5 fresh green chilies, partially seeded and chopped
2.5cm piece fresh ginger, chopped
2 tablespoons oil
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
1/2 teaspoon asafetida
1 medium cauliflower, cut into 2.5cm pieces
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
2 3/4 cup fresh or frozen peas
1 medium tomato, finely chopped
generous handful of dried curry leaves, crumbled
juice from 1 fresh lime
handful of fresh parsley or coriander, chopped
Begin by making a coarse paste of the chilies and ginger in a mortar and pestle or blender. Set aside.
In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. When hot, add the cumin seeds, mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds and stir for 30 seconds or until the mustard seeds turn grey and begin to splutter and pop. Toss in the asafetida and quickly stir once.
Add the chili and ginger paste, cauliflower, turmeric, chili powder, ground coriander, salt and a few tablespoons of water, and stir well to coat the cauliflower with spices. Cover and cook for about 8 to 10 minutes or until the cauliflower is just tender, stirring often.
Now add the peas, tomato and curry leaves, stir well, and continue to cook, covered, for another 5 minutes or until the peas are tender, stirring occasionally. Turn off the heat, stir in the lime juice and fresh parsley or coriander, reserving some for garnish, and let stand for 5 to 10 minutes to allow the flavors to blend.
Serve garnished with the remaining parsley or coriander with a dal soup, rice and homemade chapati breads for a comforting and complete meal.