Peas, Please!

A simple bowl of peas with a punch of flavor.

That’s what you’ll be imploring when you try “A Spicy Bowl of Peas.”

This simple dish is from “Quick-Fix Indian” (Andrews McMeel) by Bay Area cookbook author, Ruta Kahate.

It’s just a brothy bowl of peas, steeped in mustard seeds, turmeric and cayenne for a kicky hit of exoticism and heat.

Kahate likes to enjoy a bowl of these peas for lunch with crusty bread. I liked it spooned over steamed rice to soak up all the enticing spices, with some skewers of grilled shrimp alongside for a quick summer meal.

The recipe calls for adding 1 1/2 cups of water to the peas. I added only half of that, preferring to concentrate the flavors in less liquid.

Feel free to use spring’s freshly shelled peas for the dish. Or to reach for frozen anytime the mood strikes.

Meet Kahate at these upcoming Bay Area events:

*Demo, June 9 1t 11:45 a.m., Ferry Plaza Marketplace, San Francisco.

*Cookbook signing, July 7 at 3 p.m., Omnivore Books, San Francisco.

*Cooking class, July 14 at 1 p.m., Cavallo Point, Sausalito; $125 per person.

*Book Signing, July 21 at 2 p.m., Pasta Shop, Rockridge Market Hall, Oakland.

A Spicy Bowl of Peas

(Serves 4)

2 tablespoons canola or untoasted sesame oil

1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds

1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric

1/2 teaspoon cayenne (or to taste)

1 pound peas, fresh or frozen

Salt (approximately 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt or to your liking)

3/4 to 1 1/2 cups water (depending upon how soupy you prefer the dish)

2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro

Heat oil in a medium saucepan over high heat. When the oil just begins to smoke, add the mustard seeds. When they have stopped sputtering, add turmeric, cayenne, and peas. Stir well, add salt and the water, and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat, cover and simmer until peas are cooked — between 5 and 10 minutes, depending upon how tender the peas were.

Stir in cilantro, ladle into bowls, and serve hot. Serve with French bread, flatbread, or even plain steamed rice.

Adapted from “Quick-Fix Indian” by Ruta Kahate

Another Easy Peasy Dish: Kokkari’s Sweet Green Peas & Feta

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