Something happens to Cauliflower when it gets fried – it bears no resemblance to the boring bland result you get with boiling or steaming, that I grew up with as a kid. It wasn’t until adult life that I disovered that maybe I’ve given it a bad rap, because a good Cauliflower Gratin with a roast and Cauliflower Puree with Scallops as an entree or canape is a match made in heaven.
Over the years, I’ve discovered many ways of enjoying this previously maligned vegetable. I’ve had it battered, fried and served with honey in a vegetarian version of the famous Chinese honey king prawns and I swear that I couldn’t taste the difference between the two.
The Lebanese make cauliflower fried as a mezze dish, served with tahini sauce. Delicious!!! Emma’s on Liberty in Enmore does a great version, as does Fatima’s in Surry Hills.
Grated zucchini, broccolini and cauliflower sauted slowly with olive oil, anchovies and a litle chilli and garlic with penne pasta (served with grated parmesan) is a fab combo and a southern Italian traditional fare.
In India, a dry curry found in north and in Pakistan, called Aloo Gobi reigns supreme. With the inclusion of the cauliflower being fried with the potato, it is vegetarian curry at its most simple and best. But I’ve yet to perfect this dish in my own kitchen.
With half a cauliflower lying in the fridge and wanting to try something different with it, I decided to try giving Malai Kofta a go. Malai kofta is usually made using paneer cheese (and/or potato), but I once had a very delicious version using cauliflower many years ago, so after a little ‘google’ search, I found a recipe on Awesome Cusine. I used that recipe as a basis to adapt a very successful version of Cauliflower Kofta, in fact this recipe defies the tag ‘vegetarian’. Here’s what I did.
500g cauliflower, grated
4 tblsp chickpea flour (besan)
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
handful of coriander leaves, chopped
1 green chilli, chopped finely (remove seeds if you don’t want it hot)
½ tsp sea salt
1 cup tomato puree (I used Italian Mutti brand)
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp ginger chopped finely
2 tsp coriander powder
2 tsp cumin powder
1 green chilli, chopped
4 tblsp cream
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
salt to taste
flaked almonds to serve
coriander to serve
1. Mix all the kofta ingredients together
2. Form into walnut size balls
3. Shallow or deep fry the balls to a golden colour in rice bran or peanut oil and set aside
4. Heat 1 tblspn ghee or olive oil, add cumin seeds and when they stop popping, add tomatoes, ginger, spices, salt and chillies
5 Cook for about 5-10mins
5. Add 1 cup of water
6. Boil for 10 minutes
7. Mix in cream and pop in the koftas to warm through and cover with sauce
8. Serve with boiled rice and garnish with coriander leaves and flaked almonds