Sunday's party was the first time I made a full Indian meal on my own for guests…people loved it!
Clockwise from the white bowl- lentil croquettes with yogurt and date-tamarind chutney, cucumber-mint yogurt, baked peas with cottage cheese, baked cauliflower, and black lentils.
1 medium cauliflower
a handful each of mint and cilantro
1/4 cup grated coconut
2 tbsp lemon juice
salt to taste
1 green chili pepper
1/2 tsp garam masala (optional)
For the curry sauce:
2 tsp cumin seeds
2 tbsp coriander seeds
2 red chillies
2 tbsp poppy seeds
2 tbsp cashew nuts
1 tbsp oil
2 cups tomato puree
– Soak the poppy seeds in just enough water to cover.
– Remove as much stem from the whole cauliflower as you can.
– Grind the mint, cilantro, coconut, salt, lemon juice and chilli pepper together in the food processor. Add 1 tbsp or more of water if needed to grind well.
– Rub this chutney all over the cauliflower and stuff the rest between the florets. Sprinkle the garam masala on top.
– Place the cauliflower in a microwave safe dish, cover, and nuke for 6-8 minutes, until the cauliflower is steamed through, but remains firm. Let it cool, then remove and place in an oven-safe dish.
– Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees.
– Heat oil in a saucepan. Add the cumin, coriander seeds and red chilies and let them sizzle. Then add the cashews and brown them.
– Turn off the heat. Add this mixture with the poppy seeds and tomato puree to a blender and blend well.
– Return the puree to the saucepan. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
– Pour half of the sauce over the cauliflower and bake for 20 minutes.
– Pour the other half and bake for 10 minutes, then broil the top until golden. Serve with flatbreads.
In the original version of this dish, the whole cauliflower is deep fried, then covered with the curry sauce and baked. Nothing in this world can taste like fried cauliflower, but this healthier version comes close enough.