Sometimes, the best dishes come together because a vegetable called my name at the grocery store. Well, it didn’t really “call” my name but you know what I mean. Today, it was a beautiful, insanely fresh cauliflower! Now, some of you might not get excited by the thought of this but as soon as I see great cauliflower the first thing I want to do is munch on it raw, dipped in ranch dressing, with a few carrot sticks on the side…mmm…okay I’m getting off topic here : )
One of my favourite ways to have cauliflower is to make it Indian style, where it gets to hang out with some other great ingredients like garlic, onion, tomato, cumin…yum….just thinking about makes my mouth water! This recipe sounds complicated but it’s actually pretty easy. You just need a little bit of patience while it cooks!
Cauliflower and Peas Curry (Phoolgobhi Aur Mattar Ki Kari)
(Inspired by Tarla Dalal’s recipe at http://bit.ly/pfIrvk)
Preparation Time : 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 20-25 minutes
Spice paste – grind the following ingredients into a paste (I used a mini chopper for this):
1 onion, chopped
2 tablespoons of grated coconut
2 garlic cloves, peeled
2 teaspoons coriander seeds (dhania)
2 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
1/2” piece of ginger, peeled
1 teaspoon turmeric
5 dried red chillies (or less if you want a less spicy dish)
3 tablespoons of melted butter
3 tablespoons of oil (canola oil or olive oil)
2 cups small cauliflower florets
2 bay leaves
1 cup frozen green peas
2 tablespoons chopped cashew nuts
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tsp turmeric
Salt to taste
4 tablespoons of plain unsweetened yogurt or sour cream
Using a mini food processor, make the spice paste by grinding the onion, coconut, garlic, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, ginger, turmeric and dried red chillies together until they form a rough paste. Note: You may need to add a few tablespoons of water to get things moving.
Heat the ghee or oil on medium heat in a non-stick saucepan, add the cauliflower florets and gently fry for 5 to 8 min. Remove the cauliflower and keep aside in a bowl.
Heat the oil on medium-high heat in the same pan, add bay leaves and the spice paste and fry for 3-4 minutes.
Puree the tomatoes (you can use the mini food processor for this too!). Add the tomato puree to the pan and fry for 2 to 3 minutes more.
Add the cauliflower, green peas, cashew nuts, sugar, turmeric, 1/2 cup of water and salt to the pan. Cook covered for 10-15 minutes or until cauliflower is soft – stir occasionally to allow the vegetables to cook evenly. Note: You may want to cook it covered on medium heat for the 10-15 minutes and then lower the heat to medium low and let it simmer for another 10 minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in the yogurt or sour cream until well mixed. This gives the curry a rich, creamy flavour and appearance.
I enjoy this curry with rotis or naan. It would also taste great with basmati rice.
Like many Indian curries, this tastes even better reheated the next day, after the amazing spices, tomatoes and garlic have had a chance to soak into the cauliflower. Yum!