Whole Baked Cauliflower
Category: Indian Vegetarian Cookery
- 680g Cauliflower Head (Med-Large Cauliflower), leaves removed
- 85g Onions, finely-cut
- 6 cloves Garlic, peeled
- 4 tsp Coriander Seeds
- 1/2 tsp Red Chilli Powder
- 3/4 tsp Garam Masala
- 2 tbsp Coriander Leaves, finely-chopped
- Salt (see method)
- 85g (3oz) Ghee (or your preferred oil)
- 20g (3/4oz) Ginger
- 1 tsp Turmeric
- 2 Green Chillies, split lengthwise and de-seeded
- 340g (12oz) Tomatoes (or Passata)
- 240 mils (8 fl oz) Hot Water
Step 1: prepare the cauliflower & paste
Wash and clean the cauliflower; sprinkle 1 teaspoon of salt all over and leave for half an hour. Grind the onions, garlic, ginger, and coriander seeds into a fine paste. If using whole tomatoes, blanch skin and chop the tomatoes roughly.
Step 2: cook the spice paste
In an oven-proof pan, heat the ghee or oil and fry the ground spice paste until golden brown. Continue frying whilst adding two teaspoons of hot water 2 to 3 times until the oil separates from it. Add the red chilli powder, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and turmeric and stir for 2 to 3 minutes. Then add the tomatoes or passata, and fry strirring until they blend with the mixture. Remove half of this masala from the pan and keep it aside.
Step 3: cook the cauliflower
Add 240 (8 fl oz) hot water to the remaining half of the mixture in the pan. Place the whole cauliflower in this mixture. Place the pan in an oven at 120℃ (250℉) for half an hour. Baste with the remaining masala mixture which was set aside at regular intervals, turning the cauliflower from one side to the other if necessary. If not using an oven proof pan, this can all be done on the stove if using a deep pan with a lid that closes over the cauliflower. The cauliflower should remain whole and be cooked through.
Step 4: serve
Remove from pan into serving dish, or serve in pan if using a shallow cast iron pan as pictured above. Sprinkle with garam masala and garnish with fried/chopped green chillies, and chopped coriander leaves. Enjoy with steamed basmati rice, or your favourite Indian bread, and a mint chutney or natural/Greek yoghurt.
Mrs Balbir Singh
Award-winning godmother of Indian home cooking, and author of Mrs Balbir Singh's Indian Cookery, as featured in "The Best Indian Cookbooks Ever, as Judged by the Experts" - The Telegraph (UK)