To me cauliflower can never be disappointing….unless you massacre it and cook it to death….plus it is such a versatile vegetable, lending itself pretty well to any kind of preparation, indian, Chinese, continental and anything else you can think of making with it….fried, baked and even steamed…..there are lots of people who don’t eat this cruciferous veggie full of vital nutrients though….i have heard staunchly desi types saying it is an ‘english’ vegetable and then there are some who are suspicious of the little worms that there can be found in them at times…..then there are some who cant stand the smell of cooking cauliflower much the same as cabbage……I have nothing to offer the types who think it is an english vegetable….their loss….as for the worms, inspect the cauliflower you are buying thoroughly and check for any signs of the critters, do not buy anything that looks emaciated and sad…..or wilted for that matter….and after cutting, I always immerse it in hot water to which salt and a little of turmeric has been added for 10 minutes to get rid of anything I have missed, usually rinsing in two changes of water…..there are plenty of other fruits and vegetables like beans, peas and brinjals that regularly get attacked by pests….at this rate we should stop eating most stuff…..
Anyways, back to cauliflower….i usually make it with tomato and onions with a cumin seeds tadka….which tastes great with rotis……or poriyal style…which is better with rice and sambhar / dal….this one is the latter…..its very easy to make…which scores high marks with me…since I cant slave over the kitchen stove…..far from…..i always look for shortcuts that wont shortchange you on the taste….and this one pleases on all counts
Aloo gobhi south indian style
2 ½ c cauliflower florets, cut pretty small but not minute
1 c potato, peeled and cubed into ½ inch pieces
1 t oil
1 t mustard seeds
1 T channa dal
1 T urad dal
A few curry leaves
2 slit green chillies
¼ t turmeric powder
Salt to taste
2 T fresh or dry grated coconut
Steam the cauliflower and potato till almost cooked(I do this in the microwave oven, sprinkle a little water on the veggies, cover and nuke for 5-6 mins). In a pan, heat the oil, splutter the mustard seeds, add the urad and chana dall and toast for a few seconds, add the curry leaves and green chillies and cover (they burst out of the pan). Add the salt and turmeric to the seasoning, stir a second and add the steamed cauliflower and potato pieces. Mix to coat well. Cover and steam for another 3-4 minutes on low heat. Add the grated coconut, stir a minute and serve hot. K loves this with rotis…I prefer this with rice and sambhar.