There are times, when not to judge a book by its cover. Sometimes looks are really deceiving and I think that could be a good thing. If everything looked as it seemed there would be no mystery. Mystery is needed to seduce and to entice curiosity. That being said, let me address this picture before anything else. I wish I could blame the appearance of this meal on my lack of camera skills, or that it was having a bad "vegetable day" (Ha, Ha... ok I thought that was cute) however it's just no beauty.
In spite of its less then stellar looks (poor thing) this peanuty coconut curry cauliflower dish tastes divine on a bed of brown basmati rice doused with raita, lemon slices, toasted slivered almonds, fresh or toasted coconut, raisins and sliced cucumbers. Shew.... Try saying that all in one breath. Pick your choice. This time around I chose coconut flakes.
This recipe comes originally from The New Moosewood Cookbook. I have modified some of the ingredients and recipe techniques to not only give it more protein and less carbs, (I do like to watch my figure;-) but to mimic authentic Indian cuisine. Sauteing the spices before the onions, creates the foundation for this dish and intensifies the flavors even more. And I definitely like intensity.
1 large onion, chopped 1 teaspoon Sea salt 3 medium cloves garlic, peeled 1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, minced 1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut, reserve some for garnish 1/2 cup lightly toasted peanuts 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds 1/2 cup water (more, as needed)
1 large cauliflower, cut in 1-inch pieces 1 medium carrot, cut into coin medallions 1 cup cooked chick peas Juice of 1 lemon
Heat the coconut oil in a large, deep skillet and add the mustard seeds, turmeric, ground cloves, cumin seeds and cayenne pepper. Once the mustard seeds start to pop, (less than a minute) stir in the onions and salt. Saute for 5 minutes over medium heat, until onions start to become translucent. Add the garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant.
In the meantime, in a blender puree the peanuts, sesame seeds and shredded coconut with water. If it's too thick, add more water. This should have the consistency of a thick paste.
Then add cauliflower and carrot and mix well. Cover and cook about 10 minutes, then add the paste. Mix well. Cook, covered, over low heat until the cauliflower is tender, stirring every few minutes. Add more water, if necessary, to prevent sticking.
Add the chick peas, and lemon juice, and cook a few more minutes. Taste to adjust salt, and serve hot, with rice and condiments.