Sunday, February 1, 2009

Dry Cauliflower Curry with Dhal

This is something I thought I'd try again (after some years) after having it in New York just over a week ago. (See Well, I had something like it, and this version was indeed good, but I'm going to have to mess around a little with the spices to recreate the original, if that's at all possible. Still, my husband raved about this and we ate every scrap, so perhaps the other we had was simply different :)


1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger root
1-1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp ground fennel
large pinch or more of crushed chilies (to taste)
approx. 1 lb cauliflower (trimmed pieces, a little over bite-sized)
water to cook
pinch of salt, optional
garam masala to taste
2 or 3 spring/green onions, chopped, to be stirred in at the end
handful fresh coriander leaves (cilantro) - optional - to serve
fresh squeeze of lemon to serve

Put the onion, garlic and ginger root into a skillet and add a little water to 'saute' until onion is translucent. Add the cumin seeds and stir until they decide to pop. Add the other spices quickly along with the cauliflwer and, again, just enough water to steam the pieces nicely without overcooking. (The cauliflower in the photo had a bit longer to cook than was needed.) Add the salt if using. You want the cauliflower to be just done, and you want the curry to be pretty well dry, so only allow for enough water to cook - the vegetable should be moist but there will be no sauce.

When the cauliflower is cooked, taste for seasoning and add a shake or two of garam masala. Add the green onions, the lemon juice and stir. Add chopped coriander leaves (cilantro) if you like them and serve.

We had ours, as you see below, without the coriander leaves - which we love - because we found we had none at all in the refrigerator. What a disaster! Nevertheless, it tasted great and I shall be sure to make this simple dish again.

We also made a dhal from an old Australian Women's Weekly cookbook, using red instead of brown lentils. It was excellent.

The thing about dhal is that it keeps so well and it is a nice counter to dry curries because of its usual wetness. Besides that dhal is GOOD!

I think it's so easy to forget that cauliflower is a 'green' vegetable full of all the good things that cruciferous veggies offer and yet low, very low, in calories. Not being as strong in flavour as, say, broccoli, it also lends itself to a variety of flavour additives - spices! - to ring a change on it from time to time. From crudite to soup to main dishes, the humble cauliflower shines.


DJ Karma (of VegSpinz) said...

mmmm that does look delicious!

Luinda Smigel said... cauliflower. That looks tasty.

veggievixen said...

yum! i love cauliflower, and i'm intrigued by dahl...i've never really made indian food on my own, but i've always wanted to!

'River' (aka Pat) said...

Hi everyone, Thanks for writing in.
I'm going to work on that recipe - I think some brown mustard seeds might be good, for example - and see if I can tweak it into something better than just delish :) It's worth the trouble because, as I say, cauliflower is such a good and versatile vegetable and yet practically sin-free. I love things that are sin-free LOL

As for the dhal, we have lots of ways we do dhal in this household - and we are always looking for more. Again, it is a versatile food - lentils are, I mean - and the dhal keeps nicely, even freezes, and can be thinned to make a sauce on vegetables, on noodles, etc., and have wonderful things added to make a soup, etc. So I'll bring more dhal to this Beanvegan kitchen.

Hugs, River / Pat

Catherine said...

Dal is SO tasty! Both my boyfriend and I love it -- plates and plates of it!

Jacq said...

Mmmm. Looks yummy. :) I am actually making a red lentil curry tonight at my daughter's request. I often throw in some cauliflower with it to add to the veggie content. :)