Archive for December, 2007

Spicy Indian-ish Vegetables over rice

My parents live much further south than I do, and when I visited them for Thanksgiving, their tomato plants were still putting out fruit! However, knowing the cold weather was on its way, they had to pick some of the tomatoes green. They sent some home with me.

I love fried green tomatoes…but they’re a lot of work. I decided to find something else to do with my tangy, green tomatoes. I found this recipe from Cooking Light, and I decided to adapt it. I changed out the potatoes for chick peas to add some protein. However, potato puts starch into the mix, which helps thicken the sauce. I don’t mind a thin sauce, but stirring forever to evaporate the leftover water was a pain, so in the recipe below, I reduced the amount of water. I also added red bell pepper for color.

I felt like this dish was still missing something in the end. The tomatoes had not exuded enough of their sharp taste. While trying to distinguish the flavor of the mustard seeds, it suddenly occurred to me: mustard! I used just a little at the end to round out the flavor. A success, I do believe.

spicy veggies

Cooking time: 1 hour, including prep

Servings: 3-4 main course servings


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp brown mustard seeds
  • 1 can chick peas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup cauliflower
  • 1 cup green tomatoes
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground tumeric
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (less if you don’t like spicy food)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cardamom seed (1/4 tsp ground?)
  • 1/2 medium red bell pepper (about 3/4 cup chopped)
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 tsp mustard (I used Dijon, but I think any kind except yellow would work here)
  • fresh spinach (optional)
  1. If you’re serving this with rice, get that cooking on the stove before you start the rest of the recipe, and it will be done in time (I use brown rice, so it takes a while). Chop cauliflower, tomatoes and bell pepper into equal size pieces (mine were about 3/4 inch). Mix the spices together in a small bowl.
  2. Heat the oil over medium high heat in a large non-stick skillet. Add the mustard seed and saute for about a minute. Add chick peas, cauliflower and other spices. Saute for about a minute. Add the bell pepper and saute another minute. Add the water and stir well. Bring water to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat to bring water to a simmer. Cover the skillet. Simmer 18-20 minutes, or until the cauliflower is tender, stirring once or twice.
  4. Uncover the skillet and increase the heat to help the excess water evaporate. Stir in the mustard, and continue to stir frequently until most of the water has evaporated. Remove the cardamom seed.
  5. To serve, place rice on a plate, then torn spinach leave (about 1/2 cup per serving) and then spoon the skillet mixture on top. The heat from the mixture will wilt the spinach leaves without turning them to mush by stirring them into the pan.

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