Monday, June 30, 2008

Tandoori-Style Cauliflower (Tandoori Gobhi)

I have a new toy to play with! This recipe required grinding whole spices, as well as finely processing almonds. For the task, it suggested a coffee or spice grinder. But when I saw this marble mortar and pestle at the homegoods store, I knew it was the thing to buy. I’m happy to report it even grinds down a whole cinnamon stick with no effort, and it did quite a fine job on those almonds. Wow!
But as for this recipe, here's a final Indian recipe for the month of June. Tandoori refers to a cylindrical clay oven in which food is cooked over a hot charcoal fire. Although this recipe isn't quite that authentic (!) it refers to the use of yogurt (soy) and spices that flavor the cauliflower (gobhi), and provide the usual flavor to Tandoori cooked meats.

To start, combine 3 cups water, 1/2 tsp. salt and one tablespoon lemon juice in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Add 6 cups cauliflower florets (about one large head); cover, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Drain.

Place 2 whole cardamom pods, 2 whole cloves, one cinnamon stick and 1 bay leaf in a small skillet over medium heat. Cook two minutes until fragrant, then transfer to the grinding tool of your choice (mortar and pestle!) and process until finely ground. Set aside.

In a large skillet, heat one and a half teaspoon canola oil over medium heat. Add a cup and a half chopped white onion and sauté 8 minutes. Add the spices mixture, 1 tablespoons finely processed, blanched almonds (this is made easiest if you buy the pre-slivered kind at the supermarket), 1/2 tsp. turmeric, 1/4 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. ground red pepper, 1 and a half teaspoons minced fresh garlic and three minced garlic cloves. Cook 2 minutes. Remove from heat and cool slightly.

Place the onion mixture in a blender along with a third a cup water. Blend until mostly smooth. Return to the skillet and slowly stir in 6 tablespoons plain soy yogurt. Cook over low heat for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

Place the cauliflower in a shallow baking dish (I used an 13x9 glass baking dish), and pour the onion mixture on top, tossing to coat. Cook at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

Sprinkle with a quarter cup finely chopped cilantro before serving. This yummy side dish yields six, one-cup servings of 90 calories each. Serve alongside the vegan entrée of your choice (potatoes and rice, lentils or chickpeas come to mind).


cauliflower $3.49

white onion $0.92

(blanched almonds)

ginger $0.52

plain yogurt $2.39

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The Vegan Pantry

  • Vegan yogurt - Whole Soy
  • Vegan milk - Silk
  • Vegan Feta - Sunergia
  • Vegan Cheese - Galaxy Foods
  • Vegan Eggs - Ener-G
  • Vegan Butter - Earth Balance