Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Spiced Cauliflower with Sesame

In some ways, this dish is like a simpler, drier version of the Hyderabad Cauliflower I posted a few months ago.  But in some ways, it's quite different--especially the sesame seeds.

The cauliflower and the onions ended up being just tender enough without being mushy, and it's spicy without being overpoweringly so.  I do think the recipe called for too much onion in relation to cauliflower; next time I'll use one onion instead of two. It's also very gingery, which I liked, but you might want to cut back bit.

Spiced Cauliflower with Sesame Seeds

1 1/2 TB extra-virgin olive oil or clarified butter
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 or 2 medium yellow onions, finely sliced
a pinch of turmeric
fine grain sea salt
4 dried red chiles, stemmed and halved
2 tsp sesame seeds, lightly toasted
1 garlic clove, minced
4 cm / 1 1/2-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
1 medium / 12 oz cauliflower, thinly sliced 
1 green jalapeno chile, seeds removed, finely chopped
3 TB chopped fresh cilantro / coriander

1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the cumin seeds and cook until they begin to crackle, just 30 seconds or so. Stir in the onions, along with the turmeric and a few pinches of salt. Cook, stirring often, until the onions caramelize a bit and turn lightly golden, roughly 7 - 10 minutes.
2. Add the red chiles, sesame seeds, garlic, and half of the ginger. Continue to cook for another minute.
3. Add the cauliflower and stir well. At this point I added a generous splash of water to help the cauliflower to steam.  Cover the pan and cook the cauliflower over low-medium heat for 3 - 5 minutes, until just tender. 
4. When the cauliflower is nearly cooked, remove the lid, increase the heat, and stir in the green chiles, remaining ginger, and cilantro. Salt to taste.  Serves about 3-4.

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