Brussels Sprouts with Toasted Spices

De Arbol (Capsicum Annuum) means tree like in Spanish. The plant has thick, upright, woody stems and the chile itself is narrow, curved and bright red in color. Believed to be closely related to the pequin, the De Arbol is thin fleshed, with tannic, smoky, grassy flavor and searing heat. This chile has a heat range of 7.5 on the heat scale of 1-10. De Arbol Chiles are comparable to a Cayenne Pepper. Scoville heat units 15,000 to 30,000.

Suggested Use:
De Arbol is a hot chile and a staple in Southwest kitchens. Add some heat to your next salsa or Mexican dish. Be adventurous and add them to your next stew or chili along with the other spices Add some heat to your next salsa or Mexican dish.

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1-1/2 pounds small Brussels sprouts, trimmed
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
2 small dried hot red chiles (de arbols)
1/2 tsp. mustard seeds
1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
1/2 tsp. fennel seeds
1/4 tsp. nigella seeds
1-1/2 cups vertically sliced red onion
1/2 tsp. ground turmeric
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
1 Tbsp. unsweetened grated coconut
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice


Cut a shallow “X” in the stem end of each sprout. Cook the sprouts in boiling water for 7 minutes or until they become tender ; drain.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chiles and cook for 1 minute or until browned, shaking the pan frequently. Add the seeds and cook, partially covered, for 1 minute or until the mustard seeds begin to pop, shaking pan frequently. Add the onion and turmeric and saute for 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Add the sprouts, salt and sugar. Cook for 3 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Stir in the cilantro, coconut and juice.

Yields 8 servings (serving size: 1/2 cup).

Recipe by Julie Sahni.