It’s obvious really, but still surprising how you can cook the same vegetable in two different ways and end up with totally different flavours and character!
Here’s a fab. way to use a cauliflower to create two different curries that complement each other deliciously.
Pakora are small vegetable pieces dipped in a thick ice-cold batter and quickly fried.
Bharta is pureed vegetables, cooked gently and infused with spices.
CAULIFLOWER CURRY: TWO WAYS : PAKORA AND BHARTA
Amply serves 2
- 1 medium cauliflower approx. 250 gms.
- 1 medium onion
- 1 tsp. turmeric
- 1 tsp. cumin seeds
- 1 tsp. coriander seeds
- 1/2 tsp. black pepper corns
- 1 tsp. chilli powder
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. mustard seeds
- 3 tsbs. vegetable ghee or hot oil such as grapeseed.
- 250 ml. water, or non-dairy milk ( I used oat milk)
- 80gms. chickpea/besan/gram flour
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
- 1/2 tsp. coriander seeds
- 1/2 tsp. turmeric
- pinch chilli powder
- 80-90 ml. ice cold water
- Remove the outer leaves of the cauliflower and slice in half.
- Wash the cauliflower.
- Cut half of the cauliflower into small florets, removing most of the stalk.
- Peel and roughly chop 1 onion.
- Place the onion, the excess cauliflower stalks and the other half of the cauliflower in a food processor and blitz until it forms a crumb.
- Grind 1 tsp. turmeric, 1 tsp. cumin seeds, 1 tsp. coriander seeds, 1 tsp. chilli powder, 1/2 tsp. black pepper corns and 1 tsp. salt in a grinder to form a smooth powder.
- In a deep-sided pan on a medium-high heat, heat 3tbs. ghee/oil.
- Add mustard seeds: sauté 20secs. until they sizzle and pop.
- Add blitzed cauliflower/onion : sauté 2 mins.
- Add ground spices : sauté 1 min.
- Add 250ml. water/ or non-dairy milk.
- Bring to a gentle boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer very gently 30-40mins, until the cauliflower is soft and tender.
Prepare the batter:
- Grind the seeds, spices and salt together to a fine powder.
- Mix dry ingredients together.
- When ready to prepare the pakora, add iced water slowly until you have a smooth thick batter.
- Drop the cauliflower florets into the batter and stir to coat evenly.
- In a wide pan, on a high heat, add about 1 cm. hot oil, such as grapeseed oil.
- When the oil is hot (a breadcrumb should sizzle immediately when dropped in the pan) – drop in the pakora leaving enough space for them to fry successfully. Fry for about 2-3 mins. on each side until golden.
- Meanwhile, a few minutes before serving, turn up the heat under the bharta and remove lid to drive off excess moisture.
Serve with rice, or flatbreads, a raita yogurt dressing, lemon slices and sweet chutneys.