A healthy cauliflower bake with authentic South Indian flavors.
By Shuchi Mittal
A friend of mine made a comment the other day- the words ‘South-Indian’ and ‘Bake’ cannot be in the same sentence. If it should be a South Indian snack, it must be fried. Well, challenge accepted! Off I went to experiment (with much excitement) on how I could retain those scrumptious flavors of curry leaves and mustard, without smothering & drowning the vegetable in oil. I salvaged my standing for this dish turned out so well that my husband and I polished off the whole thing in under 10 mins! (It serves 4). Geez, it took me longer to prepare it, but I’ll try not to complain. I’ll just sing along and enjoy the triumph of will over words of (supposed) wisdom…
- 1 Big Cauliflower (Cut Into Small Florets)
- ¼ Cup Olive Oil
- 2 Tablespoons Sambar Powder (A South Indian Curry Powder)
- 1 Teaspoon Mustard Seeds
- 2 Tablespoons Crushed Curry Leaves
- 1 Teaspoon Paprika
- ½ Teaspoon Hing (Asafoetida)
- 2 Tablespoon Cornflour or Corn Starch
- 1 Tablespoon Lemon Rind
- Salt to taste
- Chopped Coriander & Chat Masala To Garnish
- Cut the cauliflower into small florets and clean it by soaking in a mixture of warm water and salt for 15 mins.
- In a large mixing bowl combine all the other ingredients, except the lemon rind and coriander, and mix well.
- Add the cauliflower florets and toss well to coat thoroughly with the mixture. Leave aside for 20 minutes to marinate.
- Preheat an oven to 200 degree C and put aluminum foil on a baking tray.
- Spread the cauliflower evenly on the tray and sprinkle the lemon rind on top. Bake for 25 minutes, tossing it once after 15 minutes. To get a brown crispy surface, turn the oven to grill mode and grill for 3-5 minutes at 200 degree C.
- Garnish with chopped coriander, chat masala and serve hot. A great appetizer!
Shuchi cooks with the heart of a poet. Banker turned chef, she runs the 29. Private Kitchen in NYC focusing on social tasting events, dining experiences and small-scale private events. Using simple & wholesome ingredients, she likes to re-invent homemade Indian flavors into modern tapas & small plates. Her dream? To cook, feed, write, and eventually open her own communal dining cafe - with a published recipe book on the stands.