This post is for all for my little T. This is such a simple and everyday recipe that I would not even think of blogging it if it was not for her.
The radishes always had been hers; from the seed to the lightly seasoned bowlful this time.
Photo by T.
Our roles reversed. I was the helper while she patiently and carefully trimmed sliced and chopped all of the radishes. Kudos to her patience.
I could tell that her hands were tired. But she is not the kind to give up.
The tempered radishes is one of those very basic recipes. Dal or lentils is almost always a part of a Bengali meal (lunch or dinner) and if there is dal there has to be a sauteed or fried side of vegetables with it. The recipe comes in here. Served with rice or roti/flat bread it makes a zesty, but simple side dish.
Since these were home grown radishes and had been taken care of T, this was raised to an extra special level this time. Not merely a side.
She made sure I took photographs while she worked on them and then she volunteered to take photographs after we cooked. I had to make this post to document this precious part of my life!
(I am not into popular music, but here is what I have been listening to: Say Something . Over and over again.)
Here it is, a very simple recipe, but full of love.
Mulo Bhaja: Lightly Tempered Stir-Fried Radish
Ingredients: (Serves 2-4 as a small side)
- 12-15 small red radish, washed clean, roots cleaned and chopped in tiny pieces/or even circles
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1/2 teaspoon kalonji/nigella*
- 1-3 hot green chili peppers, slit
- salt to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
- red chili powder/cayenne to taste (optional)
- fresh squeeze of lemon
- herbs to garnish if you want
*Note: Brown Mustard seeds maybe used instead of nigella. The flavors will not be as sharp. But it works well too.
Heat oil in a pan. Add the slit green chili peppers and the nigella/kalonji seeds (mustard if you are using this instead of nigella). When the seeds sizzle/splutter and the chili pepper starts to brown, add the radishes, salt, turmeric powder and chili powder if you are using. Cook at medium to high heat until the radishes are softened a bit, but still has the crunch. (Cook more if you want them completely softened).
Finish off with fresh herbs and squeeze of lemon if you wish.
Serve as a side. Good with dal/lentils and rice or flatbread, if you are thinking of an Indian meal. It works well with grilled meat too.
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Difficulty Level: Easy
Serves: 2-4 as a side.