The other night I wanted to make some simple, spicy cauliflower to go with a meal of Spicy Lemon Date Spread, Baked Chickpea Pancake and Moroccan Carrot Salad. I looked to Madhur Jaffrey’s excellent book, Indian Cooking because it has three Cauliflower recipes in a row. I have made each of them at some point or another and they were all very good. When I re-read the recipes I realized that they all followed the same technique, more or less.
- Soak the cauliflower flowerets in cold water for a half hour.
- Fry some garlic and/or aromatic seeds such as cumin, black mustard or fennel, until they begin to brown or pop.
- Add the cauliflower and fry until it begins to brown.
- Add some warm (turmeric, coriander, cumin) and/or hot spices (cayenne, green chili pepper) and some salt.
- Finish the cauliflower by braising them along bit of water or some other liquid (lemon juice, tomato sauce) OR by placing the lid on the pan and allowing them to steam.
This gives you flavourful, juicy, browned cauliflower to which you can apply any number of flavour profiles. I encourage you to experiment! I rummaged around my spice cupboard while I waited for my cauliflower to soak. I fried some black mustard, fennel and cumin seeds in mild oil and then added the cauliflower. When the cauliflower was brown I sprinkled it with turmeric, cayenne pepper and salt and then finished it in about 4 tablespoons of lemon juice. I sprinkled it with garam masala before eating it. This cauliflower would also have been great with Baked Samosa, Spiced Cabbage, Turkey Keema, Rima’s Green Beans and probably a lot of other ones that I am forgetting!