Monday, January 16, 2012

Great Eats: Simple Cauliflower Curry

Oh, cauliflower. Such a humble vegetable. So unassuming and plain-looking, it is ever a staple in my home and yet whenever I get it, the poor thing just sits and sits and sits in my fridge, wilting, forgotten in the furthest corner. And only when all other colorful, tasty vegetables are consumed do I seem to "recall" and grudgingly pull it out and put it out of it's misery.

Which is a shame, because the humble cauliflower is capable of some great feats with a little help of the ever-miraculous coconut milk. Some Indian spices don't hurt either and when you put the three together, the results are always hearty, healthy and wholly pleasant.

As always, the spices make the ingredient list long - the rest is dead easy.

 1 onion, diced
• 1 carrot, peeled & diced
• 2 tbs vegetable oil

• 1" fresh ginger, peeled and diced finely

• 1 tbs cumin

• 1 tsp turmeric

• 1 tsp salt

• 1/2 tsp cumin seeds

• 1/2 tsp coriander

• 1/4 tsp powder cloves
• 1/4 tsp cayenne (or to taste add more for more heat)
• 3 cloves garlic
Ground pepper, to taste
1 can coconut milk
2 1/2 tbs sesame seeds, toasted
1 medium head cauliflower, cut into small florets

Peel and dice the carrot and onion and add to a medium saucepan. Add the oil and cook for a few minutes, without letting them burn. P;ace the sesame seeds on a small skillet and cook, until the seeds brown and begin to pop - a few minutes. Keep the sesame moving on the skillet so they don't burn. Remove from heat and let cool. Meanwhile, add the ginger to the saucepan, stir and then add the spices. Stir and let cook for a few moments, before adding the coconut milk.

Once the mixture is combined, add the cauliflower. Add enough water to mostly cover the cauliflower, but no more than 1/2 cup. Any more and you'd need to add more spice. Bring the dish to a near-boil and lower heat and cover - cook until the cauliflower is soft, but not mushy - between 10-15 minutes.

Serve with basmati or jasmine rice. And enjoy!

Makes a solid main dish, or a great side dish. Vegetarian and vegan - Bonus!