Fennel belongs to the Umbellifers, also known as the carrot family. It goes well with vegetables that are commonly paired with carrots, like peas. In this recipe, the two are sautéed together with a Bengali-style masala for a simple and satisfying side dish. (Add rice and raita to turn it into a meal.)
- 1 large bulb of fresh fennel, shaved or sliced into thin pieces
- 250-300 g fresh or frozen peas
- 1 spring onion, chopped
- pinch of hing (asafoetida)
- a pinch each of cumin seed, mustard seed, fenugreek and nigella or a generous spoon of paunch puram masala
- coriander leaves to garnish
- salt to taste
Heat oil in a heavy-bottomed pan. When it is hot, add the seeds and hing. Sauté until the hing becomes fragrant, and the seeds start to pop.
Add the spring onion and fry until translucent.
Next, add the fennel and peas. Stir them until they are coated with oil. Turn the heat down and cover the pan. Stir the vegetables every few minutes; if they start to stick, you can add a little water or stock.
Once the fennel and peas are both cooked through, remove the pan from the heat and add salt and fresh coriander to taste.