Friday, December 10, 2010

Curried Cauliflower and Chickpeas

Cauliflower is in season and looks beautiful at the farmers' market. I often forget about this delicious vegetable and pass it by for its greener, more popular cousin, broccoli. But it definitely deserves its own merit and this dish gives it the credit its due. There's a great curried cauliflower dish on the Whole Foods salad bar that I love and cauliflower is often used in Indian cooking. This dish uses some of those flavors but, most importantly in my book, can be made with ingredients you probably have on hand. One of the most difficult things about cooking Indian-inspired food is the number of spices used in each dish. This combination of spices makes for delicious meals, but can be intimidating if you don't have all of the spices on hand.

This dish uses spices that, if you don't have them already, are a great addition to your spice cabinet as they can be used in all sorts of meals. Curry powder is great because it is a bunch of different spices already mixed together. That way you get a nice depth of flavor without having to spend a lot of money on different spices. Cumin, coriander, and cayenne are all useful spices to have on hand as they add a lot of flavor to meats, stews, chili, the list goes on. This dish is an adaptation from The Inspired Chef and tastes great served over brown rice. I had a large head of cauliflower (and most from the grocery store are pretty big) so this recipe makes enough for about six to eight people. If you want to make less, just use half a head of cauliflower and cut back on the other ingredients.

Curried Cauliflower and Chickpeas (Serves 6-8)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 tbsp curry powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (more or less to taste)
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 28 oz can plum tomatoes
  • 1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 2 14 oz cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 bunch swish chard, stems removed and chopped into pieces
  • Salt and pepper
In a large soup pot, heat olive oil over medium heat.
Add onion, spices and ginger. Season with about 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper.
Saute until onion is tender and spices are fragrant, about 5 minutes.
Add in plum tomatoes, breaking them up with a spoon. Cook another 5 minutes.
Add cauliflower, chickpeas, tomato paste and 1 cup of water.
Bring to a simmer and cover, cooking for about 25-30 minutes, until cauliflower is tender.
Remove lid and stir in Swiss chard pieces. Cook long enough for chard to wilt and the sauce to thicken, another 5-8 minutes.
Season with a bit more salt and pepper to taste.

For a printable recipe click here

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