I’m always on the lookout for easy recipes that use simple ingredients I have on hand. Cauliflower is a staple for me, it is so versatile, but I’m getting a little bored with it. I need a new recipe, so when I stumbled upon this one in our local paper, The Record, I tore out the page to save it for later.
This recipe sounded easy, the picture looked good – which is always a must for me – and the only things I needed to buy were cilantro and lime. I made this one night for my parents at their place after they had watched the kids for the day. It wasn’t the quickest dish to prep and cook, but it wasn’t complicated – just needs some simmer time.
Overall, the dish was pretty good. I don’t tend to follow recipes as written – I usually modify something – and with this recipe I used just a little more canned diced tomatoes, which ended up being a bit too much. I think I would have preferred fresh diced tomatoes as well and I’ll use them next time. I’ll also adjust the seasoning, I didn’t find the curry flavour strong enough, but that could be blamed on the overpowering diced tomato flavour.
Final thought – a nice addition to my cauliflower repertoire, but needs a few tweaks to get it just right.
Cauliflower and Chick-Pea Curry with Cilantro and Lime
Makes 4 servings
1 medium onion
2 cloves of garlic
One piece of fresh ginger: about 2.5 cm (one inch) cube
60 mL (two tablespoons) vegetable oil
5 mL (one teaspoon) black mustard seeds (I didn’t have this on hand)
2 mL (half a teaspoon) turmeric
2 mL (half a teaspoon) powdered cumin
Pinch of cayenne pepper
One large cauliflower, cut into bite-size florets
One 540 mL (19-oz) can of chick peas
500 mL (2 cups) canned diced tomatoes, with their juice (try fresh diced tomatoes)
Pinch of cinnamon powder OR a cinnamon stick
Large handful fresh coriander (cilantro) leaves
Half a fresh lime
Accompaniments: plain cooked rice and/or a dollop of plain yogurt
Chop the onion coarsely and put in a blender or food processor with finely chopped garlic and ginger, plus a few tablespoons of warm water (You can even use a hand blender to do this.) Buzz until it is a thick paste.
Heat the oil in a large pan and add the mustard seeds. When hot enough, they will pop like popcorn. Add the onion paste, turmeric, cumin and cayenne. Cook, stirring, until the paste is about half its original volume.
Add the cauliflower florets and stir to coat with the paste. Pour in the chickpeas and chopped diced tomatoes and stir again to blend everything well. Sprinkle the cinnamon on top of the vegetables (or add the cinnamon stick to the pan). Add a little water if the mixture seems too dry. Cover and cook on medium-low heat, 10 to 15 minutes.
When cauliflower is tender, remove to a serving plate. Chop the cilantro leaves and sprinkle generously on top. Squeeze fresh lime juice over the dish. Serve with plain steamed rice and/or some plain yogurt.