Sunday, Sep 25, 2022 | Last Update : 01:42 PM IST

  Age on Sunday   06 Aug 2017  Cauliflower is the veggie of the year!

Cauliflower is the veggie of the year!

THE ASIAN AGE. | CHEF ABHIJIT SAHA
Published : Aug 6, 2017, 7:17 am IST
Updated : Aug 6, 2017, 7:17 am IST

it is both gluten and carb free. and you can use it to prepare anything and everything. Here’s the inside story on the flower which is not a fruita.

Cauliflower
 Cauliflower

In a world where the consumption of gluten and carbs are a major concern, it comes as little wonder to find how the ‘gluten and carbs free’ cauliflower reigns supreme — and is identified as one of the hot food trends of the year as per popular international reports. Superseding super foods like kale, brussels and even quinoa for that matter, the humble gobi makes a comeback in the food scene — and everyone’s taking note.  From salads and soups to kebabs and sushi, cauliflower is versatile and offers ample opportunities for experimentation. Crush and use it as a substitute for rice, go all out and consume it in the form of a rich gravy curry, grate it r make it a seasoning for salads, the choice is yours. 

As Indians, the vegetable is a staple and we cook it quite well. However, most of us tend to go overboard with the spicing and cooking, resulting in the depletion of nutrients. Cauliflower catches on the flavour quite easily, so go mild with the spices. As a rule, you need to be cautious while cooking — and not overcook it. The perfectly cooked cauliflower is a tad crunchy. The preparation time is subjective, and is directly proportional to the sizes in which the vegetable has been cut. Since the vegetable is known to be ridden with insects, thorough cleansing cannot be overlooked. As a rule, always soak it in salt water for at least 20 minutes before you wash it down a running tap.

One of the easiest ways to rustle up and procure maximum benefits of the vegetable is by blanching it, mixing it with a tomato puree and putting in all the necessary ingredients to make it a soup. Busting a popular myth floating around the vegetable, that it causes gastric problems, I believe a daily intake of about 150-200 gm is ideal and absolutely healthy. That said, despite gobi being packed with a high content of minerals and vitamins, the key to a balanced diet is eating it with something which compensates for some of the nutrients it is lacking in. Pegged as a winter vegetable, cauliflower is synonymous with winter dinners irrespective of its availability all through the year. A vegetable is best when had during its season and I believe it is important to respect its seasonality. 

Kerala Vegetable Stew Espuma 
Citrus pudding, garlic crumbs, black olive powder, crushed pepper

Ingredients

For stew    
Cauliflower florets 400 gm
Carrot cut into cubes 100 gm
Potato 100 gm
Green peas 50 gm
Onion finely sliced 1 
Green chilli (slit) 2 
Ginger made into a paste 1 tbsp
Garlic made into a paste 1 tbsp
Green cardamom cracked (whole) 3
Black peppercorn (whole) 1 tsp
Cinnamon stick 1 ½inch 1 piece
Cloves 4 
Curry leaves 10 
Thick coconut milk fresh 200 ml
Water 100 ml
Coconut oil or sunflower oil 2 tbsp
Salt to taste

Add-ons & garnish for Espuma

Orange juice — reduced to 1/6th 4 tbsp
Garlic bread crumbs 4 tbsp
Black olive powder 4 tsp
Curry leaf powder ½ tsp
Crushed black pepper 1 tsp
Fried curry leaves a few
Extra virgin olive oil to drizzle
Banana chips 8

Kerala Vegetable Stew Espuma 
 

Method

To prepare vegetable stew         
Heat oil in a pan, add cardamom, clove, peppercorn, cinnamon and allow them to crackle.
Add curry leaves followed by onions and stir-fry for a couple of minutes over medium heat.    
Add the ginger and garlic pastes and slit green chillies and stir-fry for a minute or so before adding the vegetables and continuing the cooking process for a couple of minutes.    
Add water and coconut milk and bring to boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for 15 minutes or so until the vegetables are soft.
The stew is now ready to serve with appam (Kerala style rice and coconut crepe)

To prepare espuma
Remove from heat and set aside to cool. Make a fine puree in a food processor. Load the mixture into an ISI cream charger and charge with nitrogen cartridge.

To serve
Pour some orange reduction in the base of ,artini glasses.
Top with a shot of espuma in each and sprinkle with garlic crumbs, black olive powder, curry leaf powder and crushed black pepper. 
Repeat the process once more and garnish with fried curry leaves and banana chips. 
Finish with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

Cauliflower And Fava Bean Soup

 

Serves four
Ingredients

Cauliflower cut into small florets 450 gm            
Fava beans (dry) soaked overnight 150 gm
Onion chopped 100 gm
Garlic chopped 1 tbsp
Vegetable stock or water 400 + 300 ml
Butter    40 gm
Olive oil 2 tbsp
Cooking cream 40 ml
Parmesan freshly grated 40 gm
Salt to taste
Crushed black pepper ½ tsp

Garnish
Truffle oil  a few drops
Micro greens a few

Cauliflower And Fava Bean Soup
 

Method
Heat olive oil and butter in a pan, add chopped garlic and onion and sauté for a minute or so without browning
Add soaked fava beans and cauliflower florets and cook for a minute and pour in the stock/ water. 
Bring it to boil, reduce the heat to simmer, cover with a lid and cook for 15 minutes or until the cauliflower and beans are tender. 
Remove from heat, cool and set aside 6 tablespoons for garnish
Make a smooth puree of the cauliflower and beans in a blender, adding some vegetable stock/water if required. 
Transfer the puree into the saucepan and bring it to a boil with the remaining vegetable stock/water 
Reduce the heat to simmer and blend in the cream and parmesan

To serve 

Use a one and a half inch diametre stainless steel mould to make timbales of cauliflower and fava beans in the centre of each soup bowl. 

Pour in the hot soup and drizzle with a few drops of truffle oil.

Spice baked cauliflower
Peanut butter and toasted sesame

Ingredients

Cauliflower cut into large florets 800 gm
Turmeric powder 15 gm
Sesame seeds 2 tbsp
Peanut     100 gm
Cumin seeds 1 tbsp
Coriander seeds 1 tbsp
Black pepper 10 gm
Hung curd 200 gm
Ginger paste 1 tsp
w Garlic paste 1 tsp
Garam masala powder 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Vegetable oil 4 tbsp

Garnish
Toasted sesame seeds 1 tbsp
Cocktail onion soaked in beet water 8
Peanut butter 100 gm
Extra virgin olive oil 1 tbsp
Vegetable juliennes a handful
Microgreens a few

Spice baked cauliflower
 

Method
Cut cauliflower into big florets and blanch them with turmeric and salt for 10 minutes or so. Remove from heat and refresh in cold water    
Dry roast cumin seeds, coriander seeds, sesame seeds and peanuts and make a coarse paste.    
Place hung yoghurt in a mixing bowl. Add oil, ginger and garlic paste, garam masala powder, crushed black pepper and the coarsely powdered ingredients and mix
Slide in the cauliflower florets and coat each floret with the yoghurt mix. Allow to marinate for an hour or so Place the cauliflower florets on a roasting tray and bake in an oven at 1800C for 6 to 8 minutes    

To serve 

Cut each cauliflower florets into two
Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and serve with peanut butter, vegetable juliennes, cocktail onions  and toasted sesame seeds.

Tags: recipes, cauliflower, food