Friday, July 19, 2013

Gailan with Sambar Powder

Recently I've been thinking about oil. Most recipes call for sauteeing in some kind of neutral oil; use canola, corn, soybean, whatever; it doesn't make much of a difference. Even sauteeing with olive oil isn't too different; cooking it dispels the flavor and ushers in the smoke.

But that cauliflower using sesame oil? Sounded crazy, but it was phenomenal.

And here, mustard oil! I've always wondered about this one, but only tried it recently when I was house-sitting. Basically, I pulled everything out of the pantry and the fridge that I'd never used before. And the resultant dish, using gailan ('chinese broccoli'), was fantastic.

Sauteed Greens with Tofu, Ginger, and Sambar Powder

mustard oil 
cumin seeds
nigella seeds
1/2 red onion, chopped
pinch salt
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2-in knob ginger, minced
1/2 serrano chili, minced 
2 tsp madras sambar powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 bunch gailan, coarsely chopped 
1 block baked tofu, cubed
coconut vinegar
sesame seeds

1. Heat mustard oil over high heat. Add cumin and nigella seeds and cook until spluttering.
2. Add red onion and cook, stirring. Add pinch of salt. Reduce heat to medium.
3. Add garlic, ginger, chili, and sambar powder, and cook a few minutes.
4. Add turmeric and chopped greens and cook, stirring, until greens soften.
5. Add water and a splash of tamari and cook until greens are tender.
6. Turn heat to low. Stir in cubed tofu. Season with a splash of coconut vinegar, and sprinkle with sesame seeds before serving. Serves 2.

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