I was ready to be slightly disappointed by this meal, as has been the case any time I have attempted cooking Indian food in the past. My first bite of cauliflower, however, knocked my taste-buds out of the water. It’s a simple mix of seasonings, sloppily measured, but intensely full-flavored and delicious. The secret, I think, is fresh ginger, whole cumin seeds and fenugreek, and not skimping on oil and salt. I’m indebted to Aarti Sequeira, from the Food Network, for her fantastic recipe. I’ve taken a few small liberties in my version. However, since I just eyeballed everything as I cooked up a big pot to share with the community, the original recipe might provide a good reference for proportions.
Minced garlic and fresh ginger
1-2 cayenne peppers, seeds and veins removed
Turmeric, coriander, fennugreek
1-2 heads cauliflower, divided into florets
8-10 potatoes, cubed
A few squeezes of lemon juice
Minced cilantro (optional)
Heat oil in a large pot or pan, then fry cumin seeds until they finish spluttering and become fragrant, then add garlic and ginger. Then add potatoes and spices and cook, stirring, for a couple minutes. Add water, cover, and steam for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally and adding water to prevent sticking. Then mix in cauliflower and salt and continue to cook, covered, another 10-15 minutes, until veggies soften. Uncover and cook for another 5-10 minutes, stirring frequently, until most of the liquid is absorbed and the vegetables are tender. Adjust seasonings as necessary and enjoy!