Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Cauliflower Curry

Mark Twain famously said that “cauliflower is nothing but cabbage with a college education”. Although some interpret this as an insult to the vegetable, it is actually a glorification of education. In Victorian times cauliflower was a prized vegetable while cabbage was a mundane staple.

Cauliflower is a member of the species Brassica oleracea which includes broccoli, kale, cabbage, brussel sprouts and collard greens. Its name comes from caulis (Latin for stalk or stem). The vegetable originated in the Mediterranean and is now cultivated worldwide. While cauliflower is commonly white, it can also be found in green and purple versions. More recently, an orange cauliflower variety is available – initially created through a natural mutation of a plant in Canada.

Cauliflower is high in dietary fiber, folic acid and vitamin C. The floret or curd (the white portion) is edible. The green leaves are also edible if well cooked. Studies show that cauliflower contains anti-estrogens and compounds that are anti-carcinogenic. My friend Naheed recently alerted me to the culinary micro-craze around roasted cauliflower which apparently tastes like popcorn.

This recipe, originally styled as ‘Satyamma’s Famous Cauliflower Curry’ comes from Mollie Katzen’s The Moosewood Cookbook, one of the holy books in the vegetarian recipe canon. I’ve omitted potatoes from the original, and instead included chickpeas and green peas. By the way, Katzen does not tell us who Satyamma is.

Serves 4-6

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large onion, diced
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut
1 tablespoon mustard seeds
1 tablespoon garlic paste
2 tablespoons ginger paste
1/2 cup unsalted peanuts, toasted
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
2 tablespoons cumin powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 – 1 1/2 cups water
1 large cauliflower, cut into florets
1 large carrot, cut into thin slices
1 can chickpeas, rinsed
1/2 cup green peas
1 lemon, juiced

1. In a large pot over medium, heat oil and sauté onion and salt for 5 minutes or until onions are translucent.
2. At the same time, place the next ten ingredients in a blender and form a paste. Add more water if necessary. Set aside.
3. Add cauliflower and carrots and cook covered for 10 minutes.
4. Add paste and mix well. Cook covered on low heat until the cauliflower is tender. Stir occasionally and add water if necessary.
5. Add the chickpeas, green peas and lemon juice. Mix well, simmer for 2 minutes.
6. Serve with rice and yogurt.


Cheryl said...

Love cauliflower, love curry. I am so making this. Was happy just to see the subject line in my inbox this a.m.

Malore the Explorer said...

Thanks Aly!

I just bought a head of cauliflower and was wondering what I was going to do with it. I'll let you know how it goes.

astridcdeb said...

Hey aly. this is one of my fave recipes from mollie. I always assumed that Satyamma was her lover from a findyourself adventure in india...

Malore the Explorer said...

I finally made the cauliflower curry for lunch today! It turned out great! Thanks! Keep up the delicious recipes!

Anna Morshedi said...

This is one of my favorite recipies. Moosewood always has great veggie dishes. Thanks for sharing.

nahidworld said...

thank you for sharing this Cauliflower Recipes .it is my favorite recipes.