Thursday, October 8, 2009

Indian spiced cauliflower

This mildly spiced cauliflower makes an excellent side dish to an Indian meal, and it is ideal served with curry, basmati rice or naan bread. Panch puran is a blend of five spices: equal amounts of brown mustard seeds, nigella seeds, fenugreek, cumin and fennel. If you’re mixing the spice blend yourself, it is worth making enough to set aside a small jar for future use

1 small head of cauliflower, about 600-650g, washed

2 tblsp vegetable oil

1 tsp ground turmeric

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1 tsp ground cumin

Small pinch of dried chilli flakes

2 tsp panch puran

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

25g butter

100ml water

Remove the leaves around the cauliflower and trim off the base and most of the core. Cut into small florets and set aside.

Heat a large wok or frying pan until hot. Add the vegetable oil, turmeric, cumin, chilli flakes, panch puran and a pinch of sea salt. Stir and gently fry the spices over a low heat for less than a minute, until fragrant but just before they threaten to burn.

Add the butter to the pan and heat until melted, then quickly tip in the cauliflower florets, along with a little more seasoning. Stir-fry over a medium-to-high heat for a couple of minutes until the florets are evenly coated in the buttery spice mixture and are lightly golden.

Pour the water around the pan and cover. Steam the cauliflower for 2 minutes, then remove the lid and stir-fry for another minute until the water has mostly been absorbed. The cauliflower should be just tender when pierced with a knife.

Transfer to a warmed dish and serve while still hot.