1 large cauliflower, cut into large thick wedges/slices 3 tbsp ghee (2 tbsp butter with 1 tbsp veg oil) 6 black peppercorns 3 green cardamoms 2 tsp coriander seeds 1 ½ tsp mustard seeds 1 tsp cumin seeds 1 small cinnamon stick 1 black cardamom (optional) 1 finger green chilli, split lengthways 6 curry leaves (optional) 1 large onion, thinly sliced 6 garlic cloves, crushed/pureed 1 tbsp ginger, crushed/pureed ¾ - 1 tsp turmeric powder 40g cashew nuts 500-600 ml coconut milk 100-150 ml hot water (depending on desired consistency) 1 tsp salt 1 tsp sugar Few strands of saffron (optional) Coriander and toasted cashews for garnish
1.First prepare the cashew nuts to make cashew cream. Soak the cashew nuts in warm water for 30 minutes then transfer the nuts and some of the soaking water to a spice blender or food processor and blend until completely smooth. Set aside for later.
Preheat the grill to medium-high. Make sure the cauliflower is cut into large thick wedges to minimise breakage. Brush each side with a little olive oil and season with salt then lay the wedges on a baking tray and place under a medium grill for 10-20 minutes to char (but not cook completely!). Remove from the oven and set aside.
In a small frying pan, toast the coriander, cumin and mustard seeds with the black peppercorns for 2 minutes over a high heat until fragrant. Leave to cool and then in a spice grinder or pestle & mortar, grind down to a fine powder mix.
Cooking the curry:
4. In a large heavy-based pan, melt the ghee over medium heat. Add the remaining whole spices and toast for 1 minute until fragrant. Add the green chilli and curry leaves to the pan and let them sizzle for 30 seconds or so.
5. Add the sliced onions, a pinch of salt and a pinch of black pepper. Cook for 15 minutes slowly to caramelise and soften the onions. Stir regularly to avoid sticking.
6. Once the onions are golden brown add the garlic and ginger; sauté for 3 minutes.
7. Now add the turmeric and your prepared spice mix. Coat the onions in the spices and cook for 3 minutes.
8. Stir in the cashew cream to form a thick paste followed by the coconut milk, sugar, 1 tsp salt and the hot water, stirring carefully to incorporate everything together. Bring the sauce to a boil then reduce the heat to low. Gently simmer the sauce for 15 minutes with the lid off to allow it to thicken. Add more coconut milk depending on how creamy you want it, or you may wish to add more water to loosen it.
9. Check the seasoning and adjust to your liking then gently place the charred cauliflower wedges into the sauce. Make sure each one is covered by the sauce but avoid stirring too much that they break. Stick the lid on and simmer for another 10 minutes to cook the cauliflower through and infuse it with the fragrant curry flavours.
10. Once the cauliflower has cooked through, sprinkle over a few saffron strands and leave to infuse for 2 minutes.
Serve up with lots of coriander and toasted cashew nuts!
RECIPE BY MITHI AHMED AKA THE DAAL DIARIES.
Mithi is a Bangladeshi-born Glaswegian who is currently living in London. By day, she’s a doctor working in medical publishing but by night she brings her kitchen to life with the smells and spices of Eastern cooking. Through her Instagram, she shares her passion for authentic Bangladeshi and Indian home-cooking and she hopes to bring the same joy and flavours to Western dinner tables through her easy-to-follow recipes, many of which, have been handed down to her from her family.
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