I bought a head of cauliflower, at $.49/lb. on August 26, intending to share it with my daughter who was visiting at the time, since she loves cauliflower. However, I didn't cook it before she left and she didn't have room in her carry-on luggage (which is all she travels with) to take it back with her. So, the poor cauliflower sat in my fridge drawer and languished. It's not that I don't eat cauliflower, I do. In fact, it's one of the few vegetables I don't mind eating (I am not a big fan of vegetables, in the first place). But, it's not necessarily my favorite vegetable (that would be green beans, with cucumber a close second) and I avoided cooking it.
After two weeks of being in the fridge, some of the creamy white florets turned a bit yellowish, and it seemed that, every time I opened the fridge drawer, the cauliflower silently reproached me. But, still, I ignored it. Eventually, I put cooking it on my daily to do list! LOL! After another couple of days of procrastinating, I finally cooked it, yesterday, almost three weeks after buying it! There were a few dark spots and yellowed areas that I trimmed off, but I was lucky that it didn't spoil completely.
Dancer came meowing in to the kitchen, when he realized I was cleaning the cauliflower, because, in addition to broccoli leaves (and spinach), he loves cauliflower leaves, too! So, he got a small piece of one of the leaves to snack on and he was very happy! "Leafy greens are good for you", he says!
I trimmed the discolored spots off the cauliflower, washed it, cut it into florets, washed the florets, again, and cut the florets into smaller pieces. Then, I heated a little oil in a frying pan, added a handful of curry leaves, some mustard seeds, and one or two pods of dried chilis. Once the mustard seeds started popping, I added the rinsed cauliflower florets and sprinkled them with some turmeric, yellow curry powder, and salt. I sauteed them for about 10 minutes, stirring them from time to time. I didn't add any water. If I had some fresh lemons I would have added a little lemon juice, at the end, but I don't have any lemons on my trees, right now. At the end of the cooking, the cauliflower was crisp-tender, which is how I prefer it. Even more importantly, it tasted good to me!
For dinner, I cooked some fresh rice and warmed up some of the beef curry, green beans, and dhal from the previous night's cooking and had a serving of cauliflower with it:
|Dinner: rice, cauliflower, green beans, beef curry, dhal|
As I mentioned to one of my friends, last night, I am thinking that this might be the menu I'd make for the October rosary prayer gathering lunch, which I will be hosting. I will make a chicken curry, as well, for that, fry some pappadum (lentil flour wafers), and serve some of my homemade tomato chutney as a condiment. I could make the beef curry and chicken curry ahead of time and freeze them, cook the green beans and the dhal the day before, and all I'd have to do on the day of the prayer gathering will be to cook the rice, the cauliflower, and fry the pappadum. Oh, and make a dessert (although that can be done the day before, too).
The more I can do ahead for the prayer gathering meal (and, even, the almsgiving that will take place in December), the better, because it means I get less tired. I remember, last year, when I was preparing for the prayer gathering, my hands and feet both cramped so badly that I had to call my cousin P and ask her to come and help, in addition to friend R helping me. I just can't cut and slice large quantities of anything or stir something for long, without my hands cramping. I felt my hand starting to cramp when I was cooking the beef curry, the other evening, but that was after I had cut all those beans and the onions and tomatoes for the beef curry, as well as the beef. One of the reasons why I didn't cook the cauliflower, then, as I had planned to. But, luckily, it didn't become a full cramp and I didn't say anything about it when I wrote the blog post (focus on the positives, Bless; no need to keep harping about the aches and pains and fatigue and everything else! *smile*) This morning, my hands were tingling when I woke up, and I wondered if it was because I cut the cauliflower, or, if it was due to something else (one of the milder side effects of the medication I take for my long-term cancer treatment, Anastrozole, is tingling/numbness in hands). So, as I said, the more I can do ahead, the better. I'll just prepare one dish at a time and do so over a couple of weeks to prepare for both the rosary prayer gathering and the almsgiving.
What is your favorite way to prepare cauliflower? Have you ever made curried cauliflower? Do you think you might try cooking it this way?