Many years ago some friends’ invited my husband and I to their house for dinner. It was my initiation to East Indian food. I watched Nilan make roti from scratch; this is a type of bread much like the Mexican tortilla. She made curried lamb, if my memory serves right, and an extremely delectable spicy cauliflower dish. Her approach to cooking is highly intuitive. She mixes spices that she has on hand to get the flavors she likes most to shine through. Since then, I’ve made that dish a couple of times, and I follow her method of mixing the spices. I don’t have her original recipe, or list of spices that she used, but I do remember the most important part about sweating, or slow cooking the onions and garlic until they are nicely caramelized. The wonderful thing about this dish is that the spices used here are packed with inflammation fighting antioxidants. Plan on making this dish on a day that you will be in the kitchen for a while as it takes about two hours to prepare.
More than any other foods, certain spices are the top of the list for the antioxidants they contain. Learn to love them! Cinnamon, Turmeric, and Ginger are powerful antioxidants. (Cloves are at the top of the list, but they are not used in this recipe.) Just one teaspoon of ground cinnamon has almost four times the antioxidants as a sweet potato, says TheSpicehunter. Go ahead and try the recipe as it is. Next time you make it, adjust the flavors with spices that you like better. Don’t be afraid to experiment. When you eat this dish you’ll excite the taste buds and do your body a favor and help reduce inflammation.
1 large head cauliflower, or 2 small heads
2 onions, finely chopped
Olive oil 2 ½ tablespoons
1 small head garlic, peeled and minced (approximately 2 to 2 ½ tablespoons minced)
2 tablespoons cinnamon
4 teaspoons ginger (or try fresh minced ginger, approximately 1/4 to 1/3 cup peeled and minced)
2 ½ teaspoons turmeric
1 teaspoon chipotle (or substitute with cayenne)
1 teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon coriander
½ teaspoon sea salt
Heat the olive oil in a 8-quart stock pot and begin to sauté the onions. Stir the onions every couple of minutes. You want sweat them until they turn a nice caramelized brown color. This can take from forty minutes to 60 minutes. After the first 30 minutes, add the garlic and the ginger (if you are using fresh ginger).
While the onions are cooking, prepare the cauliflower by breaking them into flowerets about 2 ½ inches in size. Wash well.
Add the spices to the pot and stir for one minute. Add 2 ½ cups of water and the cauliflower to the pot and stir well so the sauce covers all of the flowerets. Set the heat to medium low and cover the pot. Cook until the cauliflower is easily pierced with a sharp knife (approximately 45 minutes). Add water as needed.
Go ahead. Spice it up!
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