Finally there is a nip in the southern California air. Winter maybe, is finally around the corner?. And time for some hearty and flavorful dishes. Dishes that fill the house with some lovely aroma. Have you ever noticed that vapor coming off fresh cooked food? The savory vapor just curls up from the pot and vanishes, literally into thin air. You can actually see this vapor- curling. But it ain't lost. It comes back as the aroma that makes everyone go hungry and happy. This is one big, important part, for me, of making savory dishes.
One of my favorite veggies is cauliflower. Or is it Gobi, on this part of the Atlantic? Anyway its not the name I am after. It is the veggie that I love. I cannot believe I have neer written about it! Amazingly underused. Yet so dynamic. So hearty. So flavorful. And full of good nutrition. Vitamin C, fiber . You name it. You have it. I wonder who introduced Cauliflower to the United states. To Wikipedia I go. And lo and behold it is mostly an European- Asian thing. That explains why I grew up with it and don't find it here almost ever. But fear not, it is there in the grocery stores and so anyone can have it...if they choose to :)
So if any of you who are not like me, its really time to get a taste of these flowers. You do know that Cauliflower is really a flower. Don't you? :)
A small cauliflower. It is good to start with a small one if you never really had it.
2 medium potatoes. Cubed.
2 big tomatoes. Chopped
A handful of peas. Thaw in hot water for 20 minutes if using frozen.
half a tbsf whole cumin
1 tsp grated ginger
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp sugar
1/3 rd tsp turmeric
1/3 tsp cayenne pepper. Optional. Use if you like heat in your food.
2 tbsf oil. Any is good.
4 cups of warm water
Salt to season
A few things to keep in mind
If you have never used cauiflower, there is a trick to cutting it.
Remove all the green stalk that is at the bottom. Now, halve the cauliflower. You will see little stalk going outward from the central stem. And pull out each flower attached to the stalk. You can halve the real big ones. Wash and set aside.
Prepare your veggies
You need the potatoes and the cauliflower slightly softened before you use them in this dish. So best is to microwave on high for 3 minutes. Or you can actually soft fry your veggies with 1 tbsf oil in a civered pot for 5 minutes.
Either is good.
Now, lets do the cooking!
In a shallow deep pot, heat 2 tbsf oil. When hot, add the whole cumin and the ginger and fry for ~ 15 secs. The aroma is lovely and killing. Add the prepared veggies and mix in everything. Add the tomatoes, peas, coriander powder, cumin powder, turmeric, cayenne pepper and sugar. Mix in everything. Stir for a minute. Add the water. Give everything one big stir. Cover and cook for 10 minutes or till veggies are cooked through. Season with salt.
And you are done. A hearty soup that can double up as main dish. Served over rice. Or perfectly great with good quality bread.
A great way to enjoy your crispy fall evening!
Happy eating and healthy living!