Thursday, July 8, 2010

Cauliflower With 2 Kinds of Mustard Seed! An Easy Tasty Vegetarian Treat

One of the things I love best about cooking is experimenting with new foods and new products. I love new stuff, stuff I've never seen before, stuff I might not have tried had someone not suggested it to me. that's how I got turned on to Tropical Traditions Coconut Oil. It started when a little birdie told me..ok, I got tweeted.
  I'd been reading tweets from Tropical Traditions and I decided to swing by their website and check it out. I took advantage of their offer to try out their Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil and within a couple of days it had arrived and I was eager to give it a road test.
   I'm always looking for great cauliflower dishes. Cauliflower functions like the stock market in my life. Sometimes it's up, sometimes it's down. The other day it was down, and I mean waaaaaaay down. Like 89 cents apiece down, for a large organic local cauliflower. Of course I had to have it.
  I was also intrigued by the idea that the recipe I'd found used 2 kinds of mustard seed, yellow and brown! The yellow in particular because  I bought yellow mustard seed by accident (hey it happens) a while back and was eager to find some use for it. Waste not want not!
   The first thing I noticed when I started opening the jar of coconut oil was the texture. When I gave it a real good twist and got the top off, it sloshed on me. I was expecting the usual hard coconut oil I'd been used to, but this stuff was fresh! It also smelled great! Eat it? Wear it? That was the dilemma. I decided I'd better get cooking. Here's what to do.
   Wash and divide 1 head of cauliflower into florets. Set it aside.
  Grind together
2 tsp of yellow mustard seeds
2 tsp of brown mustard seeds
Mix the ground seeds together with:
1 tsp of turmeric
1 tsp of tamarind puree *NOTE: if you don't have tamarind puree I 've  found that lemon juice can be a substitute. Tamarind puree is easily found at most Asian or Hispanic markets.
 1/2 cup of water
Blend all of this together into a nice liquid paste.

   Meanwhile in a deep skillet or kadhai heat :
2 Tbs of coconut oil

When the oil is hot toss in:
1/2 finely chopped onion
3 shallots finely chopped

Stir fry the onions and shallot until they're slightly golden, then start adding the cauliflower. Stir it around until it starts to brown.

Then toss in 1 seeded green chili cook it until it browns.

Add in the ground mustard seed mixture and
2 tsp of nigella seed also known as kalonji seed, black onion seed aka black cumin seed. This seed has more aliases than Dillinger.

 Stir it well, turn up the heat a bit to medium. When the  liquid in the pan comes to a boil, turn it back down all the way to low and cover the pan until the cauliflower is nice and tender and the sauce is dry.
If you need to add some more water during the cooking process, that's fine. Anything to prevent burning or sticking. When the cauliflower is done, if  it's too "wet, just turn the heat up a bit and boil it off. Add salt to taste and you're done.

  The dish turned out great, and another side benefit was the kalonji, (nigella, black onion seed aka black cumin seed) which was in the news last week as the subject of some interesting Medical Research.
   As to the coconut oil. I loved it. I love coconut anyway, but what impressed me was comparing the coconut oil I'd been using from a bottle I'd just bought, with the coconut oil that Tropical Traditions had sent me. The Tropical Traditions product smelled and tasted like coconut and added a wonderful flavor benefit to the dish. I've been using it in everything I've been cooking since receiving it, and now I remember to stand back a bit when I open the jar; even though I'm tempted to rub a little bit on myself. I fight it. Because I've got discipline, and let's not go there.


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