An Indian-inspired dish to tempt even the most avid of sprout-haters. Brussel sprouts are finely sliced and fried with garlic, chilli and aromatic spices, before being cooked to perfection in coconut milk. Creamy, spicy, fragrant and warming, this is a perfect accompaniment for curries or a more adventurous Christmas dinner.
I am a big sprout fan. Despite being a very fussy child and refusing most vegetables, I don’t remember ever disliking them. Given the constantly shifting covid rules for this festive season, I imagine we are not the only family whose vegetable order anticipated feeding many more mouths than was eventually permitted, and if you’re overloaded with sprouts (or love them as much as I do and want to make the most of sprout season), there are so many more ways to use them other than boiling them to death.
For Christmas this year I roasted our sprouts with chestnuts, and they are also delicious pan-fried, and scattered with a few dried cranberries. The spiced-vegetable master himself Yotam Ottolenghi has a great recipe for miso sprouts, and my recipe is in no small part inspired by Meera Sodha’s recipe for brussel sprout thoran, from her cookbook ‘Fresh India’, which I have made countless times.
How to make braised sprouts with coconut milk and turmeric
The only arduous aspect of this recipe is the sprout prep. You can do the prep a few hours in advance, but the dish is best cooked just before you’re ready to eat, so it’s fresh and piping hot. The sprouts need to be washed and any outer leaves that are looking a bit worse for wear removed, then cut lengthways into slices roughly 2mm thick. For speed, you could do this with a mandolin or in a food processor.
Finely chop your finger chilli and garlic cloves, and place a large frying or sauté pan over a medium heat with a tablespoon of coconut oil. Once hot, add cumin seeds and black mustard seeds to the pan, along with some fresh curry leaves.
Curry leaves aren’t always easy to get hold of in the UK, but you can normally find them in larger supermarkets or any Indian supermarket. I always have a stock in the freezer and they defrost in seconds in a hot pan, but otherwise you can use dried – soak them in just-boiled water for 5–10 minutes to refresh before using them – or just leave them out.
After a minute or two, when the seeds are starting to crackle, add the garlic and chilli and stir fry for another 2 minutes. Add the salt and turmeric and stir, then throw in the brussel sprouts. Fry the sprouts, stirring every now and then, for about 5 minutes, until they are starting to colour a little, then add the coconut milk.
Keep the pan bubbling away over a medium heat, stirring frequently, until the coconut milk has reduced and the sprouts are cooked through but still retain some bite. This took 6–7 minutes for me, and there was very little liquid remaining. This may vary a little depending on the thickness of your coconut milk, however I would urge you to follow the bite of the sprout rather than the amount of liquid – better to have a slightly runnier dish than overcooked sprouts.
A little spritz of lemon juice at the end lifts everything and cuts through the richness of the coconut milk. Taste and add a little more salt if you need, then serve immediately, with a pile of chapatis or roast potatoes, depending on the vibe you’re going for.
Please let me know if you give this recipe a try! I’d love to hear what you think of it – you can comment below or tag me on Instagram or Twitter @greedybearbakes.
Braised Sprouts with Coconut Milk and Turmeric
Finely sliced brussel sprouts, fried with garlic, chilli and aromatic spices, and cooked to perfection in creamy coconut milk
Vegan. Gluten-free, Grain-free, Nut-free, Soya-free
- 500g brussel sprouts
- 1 tbsp coconut oil (or vegetable / sunflower oil)
- ½ tsp cumin seeds
- ½ tsp black mustard seeds
- 8 fresh curry leaves (optional)
- 3 garlic cloves. finely chopped
- 1 finger chilli, finely sliced
- ½ tsp turmeric
- ¾ tsp fine salt
- 200ml coconut milk
- ¼ lemon
- Prepare the Brussel sprouts. Wash them in plenty of water and remove any outer leaves if they have brown spots. Chop the sprouts into thin slices, about 2–3mm thick (you can use a mandolin or a food processor with a slicing function to speed things up). Finely chop or grate 3 cloves of garlic and finely slice 1 finger chilli.
- Put a large frying pan or sauté pan over a medium heat and add 1 tbsp coconut oil. Once hot, add ½ tsp cumin seeds, ½ tsp black mustard seeds, and 8 fresh curry leaves. Fry for a couple of minutes until the leaves start to shrivel and the seeds start to crack and pop, then add the garlic and chilli and stir fry for 2 minutes. Stir in ½ tsp turmeric and ¾ tsp salt, then add the sliced sprouts.
- Stir to coat the sprouts in the spices, then fry for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sprouts start to take on a little colour. Pour in 200ml coconut milk and continue to cook over a medium heat, stirring regularly, until the sprouts are cooked and the coconut milk has reduced (about 6–7 minutes). You want the sprouts to be tender but still retain a little bite, and there should only be a little liquid remaining. Take a lemon wedge (about ¼ of a lemon) and give it a quick squeeze over the sprouts. Stir and taste, adding a little more salt or lemon if necessary, and serve immediately.