Counterfeit Indian Food

I really like Indian food but I can’t cook it for nuts. Ground nuts, pistachio nuts, cashew nuts, peanuts. I sound crazy now but I’m just trying to tell you how sad this makes me. Imagine, me, a confused Chinese-English girl in continental Europe, and the one thing I craved most for a whole semester in university was banana leaf.

Specifically, banana leaf from Nirwana Maju in Bangsar, with the crunchy oily snake gourd in batter, and loads of pickle and salted dried chillies.

I suspect I may have some underlying identity issues.

A friend (with amazing cooking skills) taught me this recipe, while I was in London watching her cook. And then I forgot it. And then I scoured the internet to try and find something even half close, which was really quite difficult. And then a certain Mr. B.Foot told me that it needs to have mustard seeds in it, else, why would you even do this? And so, here you go.

I don’t vouch for its authenticity, but it is one of my favourite cauliflower dishes, and I don’t usually like cauliflower that much. The person that taught me the original recipe was  Indian, does that count?

If you actually know how to cook Indian food, feel free to have a good laugh at how I’ve traumatised a self-respecting cauliflower. And send me your grandmother’s recipe so I can have a go at humiliating another poor vegetable 😀

Dry Fry Cauliflower 

1 head of cauliflower
1 teasp of mustard seeds
2 teasp of  cumin seeds
1 teasp of  chilli powder (or 2 dried chillies)
1/2 teasp turmeric powder
1/4 teasp coriander powder
Salt & pepper to taste

Fresh coriander, to garnish (optional)

  1. Separate the cauliflower into florets, preferably by hand. This is supposed to make it taste better but I don’t remember why. I just find it fun to pluck the bits off by hand.
  2. Add a tablespoon of oil to a wok on low heat. Chuck in the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, and chilli. Wait for them to dance *wiggle wiggle*. They will also get more fragrant
    You need to believe me on this, they really will dance. And you should dance with them! Try playing ZeeTV* in the background to set the mood.  But careful not to burn them, if you burn the cumin seeds it’ll taste weird. When the seeds darken slightly to a golden brown to a then it’s about done, if you wait until they are dark brown they’re burnt.
  3. Add the cauliflower and stir to mix all the spices in thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper to your taste.
  4. Add the remaining turmeric and coriander powder. Mix mix!
  5. Taste…add more salt or chilli powder if you need to. According to me, it’s done when the cauliflower is still a bit crisp in the middle and slightly crunchy on the outside, because I like my vege underdone. If you over cook it, then the whole dish will become soggy. Though some people like that 🙂

*A channel on Singapore TV that shows Indian movies of all sorts all day all night.

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4 thoughts on “Counterfeit Indian Food

  1. Pretty great post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I’ve truly loved surfing around your blog posts. After all I’ll be subscribing for your rss feed and I hope you write once more very soon!

  2. i make mine with the same stuff in this recipe but also with crushed chunks of garlic (maybe 4 or 5 cloves?), diced red onion, and curry leaves – one sprig should do 🙂

    Try it – it’ll add sooooo much more flavour to the dish and might even taste like the Nirwana Maju cauliflower :p

    • I’ll try!
      I was told recently to try adding onion and curry leaves by someone else as well so I guess I’ll have to do it now haha… I’m just too lazy to chop onion and garlic

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