Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Wednesday: Mid-week masala

Veggie masala with coconut milk and lemongrass, served over basmati rice.

We adapted this recipe from an okra masala in a very crunchy Asian vegan cookbook - okra may be done for the year, since we couldn't find it at the market this week, but we had plenty of broccoli Romanesco left over. We added potato to the recipe, as well, since we had some fingerlings lying around. Back by popular demand, special guest chef Laura (not pictured) assisted with prep.

This is only our second time cooking with lemongrass. It smelled amazingly potent and fresh:

The main flavors in this recipe are the large amount of fresh ginger and lemongrass sauteed at the start, and the can of coconut milk added at the very end, which creates a thick, creamy sauce. We also adapted it a bit by adding some spices we thought would mesh well - a small amount of fenugreek and mustard seed, and a bit of turmeric and cayenne.

Observant readers might note that peas are NOT in fact in season - we confess, we used frozen peas, and in fact we almost always do when peas factor into our cooking. Fresh peas are delightful, but their season is very short, and let's be honest, they're kind of a pain to shell. Frozen peas are one of the few veggies whose quality is quite acceptable. In fact, peas flash-frozen at the right point of ripeness can be just as good as fresh peas that are a bit past their prime.

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