The pure white cauliflower loves being the hero in vegetarian dishes, and in this curry all we need is cauliflower, curry leaves, a few spices and tomatoes and we have a delicious midweek dish. Browning the cauliflower thoroughly under the grill at the beginning of your preparations gives the curry great depth of flavour. I cooked up some rich homemade chicken stock yesterday, so I used that as the liquid base, however use vegetable stock for a real vegetarian dish, or using coconut milk would make this dish even more filling, but it definitely doesn't need it. "Did you miss the meat in the curry?" "Not at all," replied Mr. HRK, "and I loved the Mango chutney you put with it".
We have a curry tree, fresh chillies, and fresh ginger growing in our garden, and ground coriander seeds and turmeric root which we have dehydrated and ground ourselves so I already had a lot of the ingredients on hand for this curry. I also used some locally grown organic garlic from Eungella, which is an hour west of Mackay and 686 metres above sea level making it perfect for garlic growing. If you visit Mackay, travelling up to the picturesque township of Eungella through the fertile Pioneer Valley is a must.
This recipe is from Gourmet Traveller magazine, and I urge you to try this dish. It is more aromatic than spicy and I think it is suited to most palates.
1 cauliflower (about 1.5 kg), cut into 3 cm florets
4 tablespoons rice bran or olive oil (or use ghee if you wish, about 75 grams)
1/2 cup fresh curry leaves (loosely packed)
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
4 long green chillies, thinly sliced (I used a red one as well)
30 cm fresh ginger, finely grated
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp garam masala
400 grams cherry tomatoes, fresh or tinned
400 ml of liquid, try chicken stock, vegetable stock, water, or coconut milk
To serve, there are many options that you can use:
Steamed basmati rice and coarsely chopped red onion tossed in lime juice (the traditional Indian way)
Lime wedges and Greek-style yoghurt
Mango chutney, which I always serve with a curry as I have many bottles of my homemade mango chutney in the pantry. Making chutney is an annual event at the end of the year when the mangoes are still green.
Chargrill the cauliflower. Turn your oven grill onto high. Toss the cauliflower in half of the oil or ghee in a bowl, season to taste, and spread the florets onto a lightly greased oven tray. Grill, turning occasionally, until slightly charred. Leave to rest while you make the curry sauce.
Heat the remaining oil in a large frying pan with a lid over a medium heat, I use my Scanpan for this. Add the curry leaves, garlic, onion, and ginger and season to taste. Stir occasionally to prevent burning until the onions and other ingredients are softened and golden. Add spices, and stir until aromatic (1 minute), then add the tomatoes and 400 ml of vegetable or chicken stock, or coconut milk, and simmer until reduced by about a quarter allowing the flavours to develop (8 minutes.)
Add the chargrilled cauliflower and stir through the sauce for a couple of minutes until all heated through. Taste to check if any more seasoning is needed and serve.
- The cauliflower could be browned in advance and refrigerated in a container for a day to cut down on the cooking time later on.
- Frozen cauliflower pieces could be used if you have trouble buying fresh produce.
- It is well worth buying a can of organic cherry tomatoes for this dish. They bring a lovely flavour to it, or use homegrown ones if you are lucky to have some growing
- Grind your own coriander seeds in a pestle and mortar for superior flavour and garnish with fresh coriander leaves.
- If you like eating curries often, buy a curry tree and grow it in a pot, you will use the leaves over and over and they are fast growing and the pot can move with you if you relocate. Ours is really big now, but grows in the ground and is also a good screen tree. Ask around as friends are often growing them and they send out suckers which can be repotted.
- Use ground ginger if you don't have the fresh stuff.
- Add a can of chick peas to this dish for some protein and to stretch it even further.
- Leftovers are delicious for lunch, or for serving with a salad.
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|Early morning serenity on Bucasia Beach
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