Indian Cauliflower and Potatoes

Some time ago – I can’t remember why – I took this cookbook from my mom. I can’t remember if she was offering it or if I outright stole it, but it sat up in a shelf that I could not reach for a good two years or so since.

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And that’s why moving once in a while is a good thing. I found this book when we were moving out of our old apartment and realized that I should be using it. I took this book even before I knew who Madhur Jaffrey was or that she was considered the “world authority on Indian food”, but tonight’s dinner confirmed her expertise.

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This book was published in 1981 and includes a collection of vegetarian recipes from East Asia. China, Japan, India, Korea, and even Indonesia are all covered. I started with an Indian recipe, though, since this realm seems to be her specialty.

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Of course, I tweaked it a bit. And even though Fenugreek is listed in the title in the book, I could not find any in my not-very-thorough search, so I just omitted it. The recipe is still great.

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Indian Cauliflower and Potatoes

adapted from Madhur Jaffrey’s World-of-the-East Vegetarian Cooking

1 small to medium head of cauliflower
2 medium-sized potatoes (I used russet)
6 tablespoons neutral vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon fenugreek (I omitted this)
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 whole dried hot chile peppers
3/4 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon garam masala

1 teaspoon fresh minced garlic (my addition)
1 teaspoon fresh minced jalapeno (my addition)

2 ripe tomatoes, diced (my addition)

Chop the cauliflower into small, thin flowerets. Chop the potatoes into 1/2 x 1/2 x 1/2 cubes. Soak them in cold water for 30 minutes. When done, dry them in a dish towel.

Heat the oil in a large skillet on high heat. When the oil starts smoking, add the fenugreek (if using), fennel, cumin, and peppers. Stir for a minute, then add the garlic and jalapeno. Add the potatoes and cauliflower almost immediately and toss together all the ingredients.

Cook for a few minutes, then toss in the turmeric, coriander, tomatoes, salt, and pepper. Stir around and cook for another 10 minutes or so. Add 1/4 cup water, cover, and let simmer on low for another 10 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.

Turn off the heat, then sprinkle in the garam masala and stir. Taste for seasoning. I needed to add a smidge more salt to mine.

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