Saturday Night Curry
I adore Indian food, and it has been a staple part of my diet since I was a child. Growing up near Tooting I was lucky enough to be able to explore the many incredible varieties of Indian cuisine at its multitude of restaurants and canteens…from Masala Dosa, to Gulab Jamun, Bhel Puri to Momo’s.
As I grew up, learning to master the art of a cooking a curry from scratch at home was pretty high on my agenda. I spent hours trawling the local Indian supermarkets, basket laden with all sorts of colourful spices and unknown ingredients. I read and re-read the books of Madhur Jaffrey and spent my weekends testing my culinary adventures on my willing friends. Through all of this one thing prevailed…I learnt that not only did I love to eat vegetarian curries, I was also pretty darn good at cooking them too (or so I’m told by my friends!)
And so, for a recent dinner party I cooked the seasonal cauliflower dish I am sharing with you today. I can safely say it changed the opinions of all at the table on this rather unassuming vegetable.
When re-creating this dish I urge you to take the time to blend your own Tandoori spice. It’s super easy and it tastes worlds better than the bought stuff!
I hope you enjoy it as much as we all did!
Tandoori Spice Blend
Place all ingredients except for turmeric and paprika in a spice mill or grinder. Grind until powdered. Add turmeric and paprika.
2 tbsp chilli powder
1 tbsp cardamom
4 tbsp cumin seeds
2 tbsp whole cloves
2 sticks of cinnamon
2 tbsp ground turmeric
2 tbsp paprika (I like to used hot smoked)
Whole Roasted Tandoori Cauliflower
1 large head cauliflower, washed well, leaves removed4 cloves garlic
1 tbsp. grated ginger
1 tbsp. tandoori spice blend
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp. sea salt
120 ml thick yogurt or crème fraiche
1. Crush the garlic and ginger into a paste. Add the tandoori spice, lemon juice and salt and mix. Then fold this into the yogurt.
2. Place the whole cauliflower in a large bowl, lightly score the top and spread the marinade all over, making sure to coat the bottom as well. Place in the fridge to marinate.
3. Preheat oven to 200°C. Place cauliflower on a lined baking sheet and roast until tender (45-60 minutes depending on the size of the cauliflower).
4. Garnish with ripped coriander leaves, a generous squeeze of lemon juice and a drizzle of high-quality olive oil.
Serve immediately with flaky paratha and mint & red chilli raita.
Until next time…