Bought a cauliflower this morning. There wasn’t a lot of choice–it’s freezing cold and the local growers’ produce is limited.
What to do with it?
I flick through this cook book and that–then suddenly remember comfort lentils from Delicious Dishes for Diabetics.
COMFORT is the key word.
Outside it’s damp and cold–so comfort food that acts as an interior blanket is just what I need.
I search the index for “cauliflower“.
Aha! Cauliflower with mustard seeds and fennel seeds–inspired by Madhur Jaffrey.
A fire in the grate and the evening holds promise!
COMFORT LENTIL DAL
Rinse thoroughly a pound of red lentils–until the water runs clear.
Add two vegetable stock cubes to a litre of water and bring to the simmer.
Add the lentils.
Cover and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are cooked–about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile chop a medium onion and in a separate pan color it gently in four tablespoons of olive oil .
Then stir in these spices:
One and half teaspoons cumin powder; one teaspoon coriander powder; half teaspoon cayenne powder; and (if you have it) one teaspoon garam masala.
Cook the onion in the spices for a couple of minutes and then stir this mix into the lentils.
Gently reheat the dal.
Check for salt.
CAULIFLOWER with FENNEL and MUSTARD SEEDS
Deconstruct a large cauliflower into bite size pieces.
Heat six tablespoons of olive oil in a pan (large enough to hold the cauliflower in a single layer–more or less–but don’t add the cauliflower yet!).
Add a tablespoon of black mustard seeds and two teaspoons of fennel seeds.
When they start to pop–add three garlic cloves chopped fine.
When they start to color add a quarter teaspoon each of turmeric and cayenne powder.
Cook these briefly to release their aroma–and then stir in the cauliflower pieces.
Turn these thoroughly in the spicy oil and add four tablespoons of warm water.
Add a decent pinch of salt and cook covered until the cauliflower is tender–about 20 minutes.
These two comforting friends make good partners for a chilly winter night.
Meredith, who used to think that cauliflower was a pointless vegetable, had seconds!