"Whenever I go into a restaurant, I order both a chicken and an egg to see which comes first"

Friday, November 30, 2012

Recipes: Curried Cauliflower And Pureed Turnips With Nutmeg

These are two unrelated but delicious dishes I have prepared in the last few days.  The curried cauliflower is authentic – I make it with individual Indian spices, and it tastes just like that made in the Oberoi Hotel in Delhi, the best curried cauliflower I have ever had.  Like other Indian recipes, it calls for a lot of spices, but once you have them, the dish is easy to prepare.

The pureed turnips has only one spice – nutmeg – but if you can buy fresh turnips (with the leaves and tops still attached, usually available at farmers’ markets) the taste is fragrant, sweet, with exactly the right touch of earthiness.

Curried Cauliflower

* 1 med. fresh cauliflower, steamed, cut into small florets and stem pieces

* 4-5 Tbsp. olive oil

* 5 whole cardamoms, crushed lightly

* 2 tsp. fenugreek seeds, crushed (they are very hard, so just give them a few poundings

* 2 tsp. whole coriander seeds, crushed lightly

* 1 tsp. mustard seeds

* 1 tsp. poppy seeds (optional)

* 3 bay leaves

* 5 lg. cloves garlic, chopped

* 1 Tbsp. grated ginger

* 5 shakes hot pepper flakes

* 2 tsp. cumin powder

* 5 whole cloves

* 10 whole peppercorns

* 1 tsp. turmeric

* 2 Tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped very lightly (as garnish)

- Steam the cauliflower, reserve

- Sautee the garlic in the olive oil until lightly browned (browned garlic gives this curry its special taste)

- Add the grated ginger and sauté with the garlic for about 5 minutes

- Add the rest of the spices and sauté over low-medium heat for about ten minutes.  You can tell when it is done when you begin to smell the spices, just starting to brown (Be careful not to scorch or blacken)

- Add the cauliflower pieces, mix well, add salt and pepper, sprinkle cilantro leaves over the top and serve

Pureed Turnips

* Five medium-large fresh turnips (the fresher, the better), quartered

* 1/2 cup whole milk

* 1 Tbsp. unsalted European-style butter

* 1 tsp. freshly ground nutmeg

- Boil the turnips until soft but not mushy.  The fresher the turnips, the shorter the cooking time, so check after ten minutes

- Drain and put the turnips in a blender with the milk and butter with salt and pepper to taste

- Puree; then taste for nutmeg, salt, pepper, butter; and add more milk if the mixture is too thick.  You want the puree thick and not runny.

- Serve


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