Sunday, April 22, 2007

Cauliflower with Onion and Tomato

This is delicious, and going into regular rotation. When eating it, or even looking at it, you don’t think ‘onion and tomato’, it just looks like cauliflower. The onion and tomato get cooked into the sauce and flavour. The yellowness is from the turmeric, but even then, Tony and the guests couldn’t quite figure out what was in it, they just knew it was good.

The recipe is from Madhur Jaffrey’s An Invitation to Indian Cooking. This is an Arrowbooks trade paperback edition. Even though there aren’t any pretty food pictures (just a few decorative line drawings), I sit up and take notice when a cookbook is in paperback. Paperback for the culinary world is like a gold stamp- you know it’s been well tested and well sold to make it to paperback.

I served this with basmati rice, and two other dishes (a chicken in tomato sauce, and a dal), but I think it would be good all by itself, or by itself with rice.

Cauliflower with Onion and Tomato
1 medium onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
4 cloves garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped
A piece of ginger, 2 inches long and 1 inch wide, peeled and coarsely chopped
4 Tbsp water
1 large head of cauliflower
8 Tbsp vegetable oil
½ tsp ground turmeric
1 medium tomato, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 Tbsp chopped fresh green coriander (I actually left this out, and it was still good!)
1 fresh hot green chili, washed and finely sliced
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp garam masala
2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp lemon juice (I just squeezed in a whole lemon)

1. Blend the onion, garlic, ginger and 4 Tbsp water into a paste.
2. Break the cauliflower into florets. Wash and drain.
3. Heat oil in a heavy bottomed 10-12 inch pot, over medium heat.
4. Pour in paste and add the turmeric. Fry, stirring, 5 minutes.
5. Add the chopped tomato, green coriander, and green chili, and fry 5 minutes. If necessary, add 1 tsp of warm water at a time to prevent sticking.
6. Add the cauliflower, coriander, cumin, garam masala, salt and lemon juice. Stir for 1 minute. 7. Add 4 Tbsp warm water, stir, cover and lower the heat. Allow to cook 35 minutes, stirring gently every 10 minutes or so.
8. The cauliflower is done when the florets are tender, with just a faint trace of crispness.

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