Just putting it out there straight up, the last month and a half has been a time of plain unadulterated piggery. Parties, holidays, anniversaries and I haven't even gotten to New Years Eve/New Years Day yet and I'm all ready to get clean for '14. There are only so many cookies, cakes, pies and indulgent foods one can handle in the short space of 45 days. Of course, like any situation where brakes are applied, a soft foot on the pedal is always best. "Turn in the direction of the skid" as my old Broadway Department Store Driving instructor used to say. There's no better way of tapering down after a glut of end-of-year eating then with something that appears to be indulgent but is actually vegan, paleo and gluten free. A little trickery goes a long way on the road to rehabilitated eating. Which is why when I was looking for something healthy, but not hard core kale smoothie, I chose the Gujarati classic Cauliflower nu Bhanolu, a warm and creamy tasting Indian comfort food.
This cauliflower dish cooks up very quickly with just a few ingredients and you will not believe it contains no butter, cream, or eggs, it's that good.
Cauliflower nu Bhanolu
Here's What You Need:
1 and 1/4 cups of finely chopped cauliflower florets
1 Tbs green chili and ginger paste
1 and 1/2 cups of coconut milk
6 Tbs besan flour (aka garbanzo flour)
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
2 tsp of salt or to taste
3and 1/4 tsp of vegetable oil for greasing and tempering
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
a pinch of hing (asafoetida) optional
Here's What To Do:
Preheat the oven to 360 degrees.
Lightly grease a pie plate or 6 inch cake pan with vegetable oil. Set it aside.
Finely chop the cauliflower florets and set them aside.
Pour 1 and 1/2 cups of coconut milk into a bowl, set aside.
Chop 1 serrano chili finely.
Mix it together with 1 tsp of so of chopped fresh ginger and a bit of water until you have 1 Tbs of green chili ginger paste.
Add the besan flour into the coconut milk and mix it into a smooth batter.
Add in the finely chopped cauliflower.
Add in 1 Tbs of the chili and ginger paste.
Stir it in well.
Add in the sugar and salt...
Mix everything together well and pour it all into the lightly greased pan.
Pour the batter into the lightly greased pan and set it aside.
In a small skillet or pan heat 3 tsp of vegetable oil.
When the oil is hot, add in the mustard seeds and cumin seeds.
When the mustard seeds start to pop, pour over the top of the cauliflower batter.
Pop the whole thing into the oven for 25 to 35 minutes or until the cauliflower mixture is set and lightly golden.
Creamy and smooth with a hit of heat, this is the perfect side dish to make the transition into healthier New Years eating a whole lot easier. If you have cauliflower haters in your family, this dish might just change their minds. It did at our house. Did I mention that it's gluten free, vegan and also meets Paleo requirements? Just what you need to clean up your act for the new year.
Coming up next a few more tricks to eating clean, Indian style. Follow along on Twitter @kathygori