This recipe comes from a freelance hobbyist sometimes known by the name of Guitar Blair. Perhaps it’s the influence of the delicious Indian food in the South Okanagan but this blend of spices brings great balance and depth of flavour to any curry dish. We are particularly fond of it in our creamy curry roasted cauliflower soup. The best tip for curry blends is to use fresh ingredients and make it often, so it always tastes fresh! Keeping track of spice variations in each blend helps hone the mix that best suits your palette!
3 tbsp. coriander seed
2 tsp. cumin seed
1 tsp. fenugreek seed
1 tsp. fennel seed
1 tsp. yellow mustard seed
1 tsp. black cardamom seeds
2 tsp. crushed peppercorn
6 whole cloves
2 tbsb. turmeric
2 tsp. red pepper flakes (to taste)
Break open the cardamom pods to reveal the seeds inside. Slow toast all the seeds in a dry skillet being careful not to burn! When you can start to smell the spices take them off the heat. Cool seeds. Add the peppercorns, cloves and red pepper flakes. Grind the blend till fine, stir in turmeric and start cooking!
We love the new cookbook collaboration from Chefs Vikram Vij and his wife Meeru Dhalwala, Vij’s at Home: Relax, Honey the recipes are perfect for the busy hobbyist – simple, delicious and easy to cook at home. We love to find recipes that are quick to put together – especially ones we can assemble from things we tend to have lying around the house. Sometimes the work/hobby balancing act can get a little chaotic but you still want delicious healthy food. The only trick to the recipes in this book are keeping your pantry stocked.
We keep our spice drawer well stocked with indian spices and their is always fresh ginger in our freezer so the only additional ingredients needed for this quick dinner is a head of cauliflower. Cauliflower also lasts forever in the fridge so it gives you a good window of time to make this dish – although everything tastes better when made fresh. We often substitute fresh pureed tomatoes for the canned tomatoes because we tend to have those on hand more often.
Vij’s Spicy Cauliflower Steak
Serving Size: 6 to 8
Time: 15-20 minutes
1 head cauliflower, outside stalks cut off
1/2 cup cooking oil
1 1/2 cups puréed or crushed canned tomatoes
1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
10 cloves (optional)
3-inch cinnamon stick (optional)
Cut cauliflower, as you would a pie, into 6 pieces or 8 pieces depending on the size of your cauliflower. Wash cauliflower and place in a colander to drain.
Combine oil and tomatoes in a large pot on medium-high heat. Add ginger, salt, turmeric, cumin, coriander, cayenne, cloves and cinnamon, stir well and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes, or until oil glistens from tomatoes. Reduce the heat to low while you mix in cauliflower. Carefully place each large piece of cauliflower into the pot and gently stir so that the tomato masala covers all the pieces. If necessary, use a large spoon to ladle tomato masala into the nooks and crannies of the cauliflower pieces.
Increase the heat to medium, cover and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring once halfway through. When you stir, if you notice that the cauliflower isn’t cooking, increase the heat. If it’s sticking to the bottom of the pot, decrease the heat. Pierce one of the larger pieces with a knife to see if it is soft (not mushy). If necessary, cook cauliflower, covered, for another 1 to 2 minutes.
We served ours with some mung beans with coconut curry, naan bread and delicate Kettle Valley Viognier. Delicious!
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