Usually, people bring cake to make people like them. I have brought cauliflower, in curry form.
“But I don’t like cauliflower!” I hear you cry. Don’t cry. You will enjoy this. You will.
That was a bit harsh for a first blog post (maybe I should have just stuck with cake) but please stay with me. This is delicious, healthy, tastes good, and makes you feel good, and that’s one of the most important things.
The original recipe came on a card from the Abel & Cole veg box my family order weekly, and I’ve tweaked it a bit to great success.
Now, a bit about cauliflower. It’s a wonderful source of Vitamin C, but by boiling it you reduce the level of Vitamin C dramatically. In future, I will teach you about fun, low carb, gluten free (and raw) ways of locking in the vitamins, but for now roasting is a good compromise. You are probably familiar with having the oranges (the poster fruit of Vitamin C) being thrown at you if you announce to the world that a Cold Is Coming On. However, the theory that it prevents or cures cold is not well supported by research. It does however protect against infection and in the US it is recommended that smokers have a slightly higher intake of this vitamin in non-smokers – so if you’re a Smokey Joe, eat your cauliflower!
Now, I’m afraid that this recipe needs a blender or a food processor. If you haven’t got one, here’s a link to a blender that I recommend. Invest! The one on the left is good quality and allows you to blend in smaller quantities for things like single serving smoothies.
Two tips for preparation:
1. Peel your ginger with a spoon, like this: How to Peel Ginger
2. Taste your chilli! This is so important. Cut a little bit off the tip and see how spicy it is. This helps you judge how much chilli to put in, and whether to de seed. To be safe, I’d say de-seed and de-rib your chilli. You can always add more spice later but it’s trickier to take it away.
Enough chatter. Bring on the curry!
- 1 head of cauliflower
- 1 small head of broccoli
- 1 small butternut squash
- 1 courgette
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 2 peeled garlic cloves
- 1 large, roughly chopped onion
- 1-2 red or green chillies (or a few more if you are a spice head)
- 1 thumb sized piece of ginger, peeled
- 1 tsp of turmeric
- 1 heaped tbsp of peanut butter (use the cheap crunchy stuff here)
- 1 lime, zest first and then juice
- A large handful of coriander (use the stems too and reserve some of the leaves for garnish)
- Splash of soy sauce
- 1 veg stock cube dissolved in 250ml hot water
- 80g of creamed coconut dissolved in 360ml of hot water
- A large handful of desiccated coconut
- For three people, 1½ cups of brown rice. More if you are serving boys.
- Preheat your oven to 200°C, and put your roasting dish in the oven to warm up.
- If you are serving it with rice, put the rice into a saucepan with 3 cups of cold water. Add a pinch of salt and bring to the boil. Once boiling, take off the lid and allow it to cook for about 20 minutes. You may need to add more water but there is no need to stir. Once it's cooked (taste it to test - brown rice will always be a little 'crunchier' if you are used to white) drain it, then return it to the pan with the lid on. It will keep warm and steam a little which is what makes perfect brown rice.
- Cut up all your veg into chunky pieces, making sure they are roughly the same size so they cook evenly. To keep your work space tidy, after you've cut up each thing put it in a big bowl. Drizzle the bowl of vegetables with oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Get the warmed dish out of the oven and put a bit of oil in the bottom, then tip in the veg. Put in the centre of the oven for 25-30 minutes until it is tender and has started to char a little.
- Now turn your attention to the blender. Add the garlic, ginger, chilli, tumeric, onion, peanut butter, lime zest and juice, coriander, soy sauce (and the fish sauce if using, see notes). Pulse until it is a paste.
- Add the liquids - that's the stock and the creamed coconut milk.
- Toast your desiccated coconut. This is essential for it to be crispier and more flavourful. Put it into a dry pan on a low to medium heat and keep an eye on it. It will brown slightly and smell more 'coconutty'. It takes about the same amount of time as the next step.
- Once the veg has finished cooking, pour over the sauce and then cook for a further 5-10 minutes in the oven.
- Then serve! Rice in the bowl first, then pour over the curry sauce and vegetables and sprinkle with toasty desiccated coconut. Make sure soy sauce is on the table which you can add if 'it needs something'.
- Fish sauce is a great addition if you're not vegetarian to this recipe and can be found in your supermarket in the world foods aisle, but it's much cheaper in foreign food shops. Same goes for turmeric. This spice adds a wonderful orange colour.
- Buy unsweetened desiccated coconut; find this near the baking stuff in the supermarket. I suppose it is optional, but it is DELICIOUS and so is this recipe so I hope you can use up the rest of the pack by making lots of curry.
- I think brown rice is one of the best rices, but my long list of reasons for this is for another day. If you don't have/like brown rice you can use white, but adjust cooking time.
Good luck, and I hope you enjoy my blog!