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Cauliflower


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I adore cauliflower, Suvir. I especially like the tender spring cauliflower, and use all of it, the greens included. I do a sort of braise, after sauteing onions and red pepper flakes, I add the cauliflower and milk; cover, and let tremble for about 35 minutes til all is soft, and the greens are really green. I'll bet it would be excellent topped with a little cheese and set under the broiler for a moment...

On the El Bulli thread, there's mention of shaving raw cauliflower with a microplane zester as a garnish, which sounds intriguing as well.

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Nigella Lawson recommends a simple preparation involving breaking your cauliflower up into florets, dusting with cumin and baking until cooked. It's really very, very good indeed. I often make this as a simple side dish if I'm cooking Indian-influenced food or anything that uses aromatic spices

Adam

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Liza and Adam.. each of your recipes sound delicious.  And they are very Indian in their approach while certainly not being traditional.

In traditional Indian homes good chefs often cooked cauliflower with milk for ensuring the whiteness of the florets. In fact when they would steam cauliflower, it would be in a mix of milk and water.

Adam I often broil cauliflower and dust it with toasted cumin.  It indeed makes for a nice light crispy veggie.

Any other cauliflower stories anyone??

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Suvir,

My cauliflower dish is an adaption of a Mario Batali recipe so perhaps all great cuisines have decided on the right way with cauliflower. Bobby Flay recommends roasting it, then pureeing it for use as a garnish for a lobster soup, which sounds quite lovely and adaptable for any cuisine's flavourings.

I used to love a cauliflower dish from my local Bel Pouri (apologies for most likely incorrect spelling) place in London. And you are the right person to ask...what makes that variety of cuisine authentic? I always found it, in simplistic terms, lighter and crunchier than other kinds of Indian food.

I think cauliflower might be an overlooked vegetable here in the states for as it is a cruciferous vegetable, it can be difficult to 'simply' digest, if you know what I mean... :wink:

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Bhel Puri is a kind of Indian street food.  Was that the name of your restaurant in London that you mention?

What kind of cauliflower did they make?  DO you remember?

I have not seen too many cauliflower preparations in Indian streets.  Cauliflower pakoras (deep frited friiters of cauliflower dipped in a chickpea flour batter) come to mind as does a taka tak of cauliflower.  A taka tak is basically a way of cooking meats and vegetables on a griddle with the use of two spatulas and a lot of banging noise is made. Hence the name taka tak.  Which describes the sound.

In the Gobi (cauliflower) Taka Tak, the florets are broken into very tiny pieces... and then these are sauteed on the griddle and onions, tomatoes, chilies, ginger, some yogurt, fenugreek leaves and red chili are added. It is delicious.

In India we use spices that would ease the digestion of cauliflower in its preparation.  

Thus coriander powder is often used, asafoetida is used for the same purpose.  These are both good in fighthing flatulence.

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Suvir,

Sadly, my London year was 1990, I was working in TV and music, and therefore claim memory disability. But I know I lived on Mornington Crescent in Camden, and there was a tiny Bhel Puri place on the corner of the high street. Many other Bhel Puri places were near the Euston Station.

The Gobi dish seems most reminiscent, actually. It seemed to be roasted, seasoned (as you suggest) cauliflower, topped with lovely crunchy bits. Could it be possible that the lovely crunchy bits I remember are bits of dough, because they looked like tiny pieces of broken, toasted spagetti.

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Now Liza.. you may have had something I have never eaten.. It sounds wonderful.. I would love to know more..maybe someone who lives in London and knows this place or another that sells  this can find out more for us...

I would love to taste it.. maybe when in London next.. I can go hunt for this... thanks for getting this out here from your memory... It sounds like a great dish

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  • 6 months later...
Do you like Cauliflower?

What preparation is your favorite?

Where is it from?

Is it over used in Indian cooking?

Is there a pairing around cauliflower that works better than others?

I think we alone support the "cauliflower industry" by how much i cook it!! Kidding aside, I do a simple cauliflower for an appetizer or a garnish for a pullao or pilaf. If anyone is interested, I am PM them a recipe. It is a crisp and tangy dish that is done in one step!

For more formal occasions, I steam the entire cauliflower and then bathe it in a sauce made with tomatoes and peas.

Monica Bhide

A Life of Spice

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For more formal occasions, I steam the entire cauliflower and then bathe it in a sauce made with tomatoes and peas.

Dum Gobhi or Gobhi Masallam... nice.

I have the recipe in my cookbook. I prepare this dish a lot. People seem to be dazzled by its taste and looks.

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I thought my favorite way with cauliflower was simply roasting it, until I tried Suvir's suggestion on the Tomato Chutney thread: sauté curry leaves and asafoetida, add some chutney and green chilies, then finely chopped cauliflower, and cook until tender.

For a solitary supper I roast cauliflower florets until brown and crispy, and dip them in a mix of mayonnaise, sour cream and tomato chutney. I think this would be a fun first course at a casual dinner party too.

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Break it into florets about 1" square. Toss with EVOO, salt, pepper and sometimes a bit of cumin or curry powder [the savory kind, Suvir, not the dessert kind :wink:]. Spread on a rimmed sheet pan and pop into a 425º oven for about 45 minutes.

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Break it into florets about 1" square.  Toss with EVOO, salt, pepper and sometimes a bit of cumin or curry powder [the savory kind, Suvir, not the dessert kind :wink:].  Spread on a rimmed sheet pan and pop into a 425º oven for about 45 minutes.

Thanks, I was serious when I asked the question, mine tended to dry up a bit during roasting.. I will give this a try! :smile:

Monica Bhide

A Life of Spice

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The humble caulie is a wonder. It holds flavours in many dishes

I like to deep fry in chick pea flour and then dip in a fiery chutney

I love it with aubergine and chickpeas sauted in oil and turmeric

I love it raosted with a sprinkle of brown sugar and roasted cumin seeds

I guess, I just love it

S

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The humble caulie is a wonder.  It holds flavours in many dishes

I like to deep fry in chick pea flour and then dip in a fiery chutney

I love it with aubergine and chickpeas sauted in oil and turmeric

I love it raosted with a sprinkle of brown sugar and roasted cumin seeds

I guess, I just love it

S

Simon: Thanks for three great ideas in three sentences. They all sound wonderful.

May I put in a plug for good old choufleur gratinee? I suppose it is nursery food, but I adore the combination of cheesy bechamel, caulie and crispy breadcrumb/cheese topper.

Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com

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The humble caulie is a wonder.  It holds flavours in many dishes

I like to deep fry in chick pea flour and then dip in a fiery chutney

I love it with aubergine and chickpeas sauted in oil and turmeric

I love it raosted with a sprinkle of brown sugar and roasted cumin seeds

I guess, I just love it

S

Simon: Thanks for three great ideas in three sentences. They all sound wonderful.

May I put in a plug for good old choufleur gratinee? I suppose it is nursery food, but I adore the combination of cheesy bechamel, caulie and crispy breadcrumb/cheese topper.

Always a popular baked dish in many Indian homes.

We make the bechamel spicy with the addition of cayenne. :wink:

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Suvir -

I've been enviously following the New York Indian dinner descriptions and note frequent mention of the delicious cauliflower dish.

Do you have the recipe and would you share it? If not the exact recipe, perhaps an approximation.

Is this recipe a traditional Indian one, or a "contemporary Indian" concoction???

Cauliflower is a big favorite in my house, and I would love to learn how to prepare this treat that so enchanted everyone. :rolleyes:

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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The cauliflower dish was Lahsuni Gobi (Garlic Cauliflower).

The florets (large ones) are marinated in a ginger garlic paste with some white pepper powder and toasted flour. The cauliflower is left to marinate in this for a couple of hours.

It is then deep fried till crispy but still quite pale in color. Drained and set aside.

In very little oil you can fry some finely minced garlic, a little ginger and some cayenne and black pepper powder. As the spices cook (barely a minute) you add some ketchup. :shock: Enough to coat the cauliflower without there being any excess. You cook the sauce to thicken just slightly. Add finely chopped scallions (greens for the most part). Add the cauliflower florets and toss to coat.

That simple. :smile:

Edited for I was worried I might get toasted further was writing toaster instead of toasted. :shock:

Edited by Suvir Saran (log)
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