Thursday, November 18, 2010

Spiced Cauliflower Lunch

Cauliflower is great at this time of year, just when its starting to get cold.  I always think of it as a bit of a forgotten vegetable which is only ever smothered in cheese sauce or over boiled and bitter. 
It is delicious in a salad, raw or lightly blanched florets or simply tossed in olive oil, salt and pepper and roasted in the oven.  It is very versatile and also very healthy, being a good source of fibre and vitamin B. 

I served this alone for lunch today for two and it was a welcome change to a bowl of soup or a sandwich.  It was also very cheap to make and healthy.  I think you could also add sweet potato or maybe squash.

You will need, serving 2 as main course or 4 as a side:

1 head of cauliflower, broken into florets and washed
2 tblsps olive oil
1 knob of butter
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic finely chopped
1 red pepper, de-seeded and chopped
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp onion seeds
1 tsp mustard seeds
8 small dried curry leaves
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tin pre-cooked chick peas
50ml fresh cream or some natural yoghurt

In a large pan of boiling salted water blanch the cauliflower florets for 5 minutes.
Drain and reserve the cooking liquid.
In a large deep casserole dish or lidded frying pan, melt the butter and olive oil and add the garlic, onion and chilli.  Cook for 5 minutes until the onion is tender.
Crush the spices gently with a pestle and mortar and then add them to the onions, garlic and chilli and cook for a further 2 minutes to let the flavours release. 
Add the cauliflower and chick peas.  Cover and cook for a few minutes until everything is hot through.
Add the spinach leaves and cook, stirring a little until the spinach is wilted.

Pour in the cream and let this heat through.
Serve with some fresh coriander leaves and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.

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