My wife’s favorite vegetables is peas. I can take ’em or lave ’em. My favorite veggies are broccoli and mushrooms. However, when a good sweet pea recipe comes my way, I’m game. The dish given below attracted me because of its ingredients. I would say it’s probably Indian nature in nature. It calls for caraway, coriander, and mustard seeds. Which convinces me the recipe hails from the sub-continent. The only thing missing is cumin. But, if you want to make it even spicier, you can add cumin. This is a quicky recipe as well. Start to finish: 15 minutes.
Th underlying ingredient for this dish is butter. In Indian or Pakistani cuisine it would be ghee, a clarified butter where all the milk solids have been removed. And, if you want, you can make it that way. Ghee is made by heating sticks of butter on the lowest flame possible. Letting it cool for 5 minutes or more, then straining through a piece of muslin cloth and storing in a jar. Yet I’ve discovered that regular unsalted butter will do as well. For convenience, this is what I use.
Rice would be the regular accompaniment to this dish. But this time around I added a grain that I’ve come to appreciate: millet. This is a staple that hails from Asia and Africa, and is used not only as a food source for humans but as a fodder food for animals. In Akira Kurosawa’s classic, the Sever Samurai (not the Magnificent Seven movie, which was its cowboy western version) the poor villagers who hire the samurai to protect them from a bandit army, feed the heroes millet, the only food they have. The samurai eat it, but still dream of meat, and lamb, and pastries. That being said, miller has a nutty flavor which toasting enhances. Simple recipe: toast a cup of millet in a skillet or pan over medium heat 4-5 minutes until the grains are golden brown and become fragrant. Add 2½ cups boiling water or stock, bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook, covered, until liquid is absorbed, about 25 minutes. Fluff with a fork when done, and serve with the peas.
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ teaspoon caraway seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
½ teaspoon paprika
10 ounce sweet peas
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
- In a medium pan or skillet, melt butter over medium heat.
- Add caraway seeds, coriander, mustard and paprika. Cook, stirring frequently, until toasty and fragrant, about 2-3 minutes.
- Add peas and sauté 3 to 4 minutes, or until just tender. Season with salt and pepper, and serve.
Yield: 4 servings.