During one of my many WineOnline chats of the week, a very important question came up. What to do with a cauliflower?
(What do you mean, you haven’t been having conversations about what to do with random vegetables while drinking wine and chatting with friends? What is WRONG with you people?)
So, here’s one of my favourite recipes, largely stolen from Yamuna Devi’s “Lord Krishna’s Cuisine”, one of the cookery books that I use the most, as evidenced by the state of my copy in the photo. It’s also worth checking out Megala’s Kitchen blog on WordPress, as she is always interesting and has some good ideas for cauliflower recipes.
One cauliflower. Wash, trim off the coarse outer leaves, cut out the woodiest part of the core and cut the rest into florets. (You can keep the outer leaves and woody core for an ingredient in a vegetable stock or soup in case this lockdown goes on for months!)
3 potatoes, peeled and cut into spears the size of giant chips.
2 medium-sized tomatoes, peeled and chopped, or half a tin of chopped tomatoes.
The frying spices (if you have them – if not add half a teaspoon each of dried chili powder, powdered ginger and cumin at the same time as you add the tomatoes later in the recipe)
2 green chilis
1.5 cm ginger root scraped and shredded
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
½ teaspoon black mustard seed
The “add them later” spices and flavours
– ½ teaspoon turmeric
– 2 teaspoons coriander
– ½ teaspoon garam masala
– 1 teaspoon brown sugar or honey
– 11/2 teaspoons salt
Freshly chopped or dried parsley or coriander.
Squeeze of lemon.
Oil or ghee for frying
What to do. Roughly speaking.
Heat a generous amount (about 3 tbsp) oil in a large saucepan until very hot.
Add the frying spices (above) and fry stirring constantly for 2 or 3 minutes, or if you don’t have the frying spices go straight to..
Place the potatoes and cauli in the hot oil, turn down a little and fry, moving them around gently for about 5 minutes.
Add the tomatoes and all the “add them later” spices and sweetener and half the chopped fresh parsley or coriander leaf. If you’re using dried parsley/coriander leaf add it all now.
(If you didn’t have the frying spices, then at this point also add your dried chili powder, powdered ginger and cumin powder.)
Turn the heat way down low. Cover the pan and simmer gently for 15-20 minutes. Try one of the potatoes to make sure they’re cooked.
You might need to add a little water during this 20 minutes to stop things sticking to the pan.
Serve with a squeeze of lemon juice and the remainder of the chopped fresh herb.