Seared Figs with Mustard Seeds and Curry Leaves
This is via my friend Regan, although I'm not sure if this is exactly how she did it that one time, and she says it came from Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian. Now that I look at that page over on Amazon, though, I see that the dish has a squeeze of lemon juice and some cayenne—both of which would be nice, it's true. Also that recipe has quantities and everything. Fancy!
Vegetable oil or ghee (or a little oil and a little butter)In a heavy skillet over medium-high heat, heat a bit of oil—just enough to coat the bottom of the pan. Add the figs and arrange them cut side down in the pan, then sprinkle in the curry leaves, mustard seeds, and a pinch or two of salt. Cook, without disturbing, until the figs are nicely browned on the bottom, 4 to 5 minutes. Use a thin metal spatula to turn the figs over and cook just until they're soft and glazed-looking, about 1 more minute. Serve warm.
Ripe fresh figs, halved
Handful of fresh curry leaves
Yellow mustard seeds
Then I made some fig preserves, the first of this season, kind of winging it based on Regan's description of another fig dish she loved once, roasted figs with ricotta. It worked very well, and even though a version of this recipe will be in my book about canning and preserving (almost finished now, and due to come out next year!) I thought I'd post it here anyway for loyal friends and family who still have old Pie and Beer in their readers, blogrolls, or whatever.
Thank you, Regan, for passing along your extensive fig knowledge, and thank you, Carrie, for passing along the figs!