Shahi Cauliflower Curry

October 18, 2016 − by  − in Archived − Comments Off on Shahi Cauliflower Curry

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Photography Credit:
Sally Vargas

Many years ago, I ran a vegetarian restaurant in Bloomington, Indiana. One of our Indian friends and customers gave me this recipe, which I’ve revised over the years. (Thank you, Santosh, wherever you are!)

This is a nice curry for a weeknight since it doesn’t involve too much heavy lifting. There are many versions in India, of course, but this one makes a substantial vegetarian meal.

The official name for this dish is “shahi” cauliflower curry. The word shahi roughly translates as “royal,” and it is indeed a royal dish!

Shahi Cauliflower CurryHere’s a good trick for cutting apart the cauliflower, which I learned on the job at my first restaurant near Woodstock, New York. Our friendly neighbor, chef, and mentor taught us to cut a deep cross at the base and then separate the head into quarters. Slice away the core and outer leaves. Then, with a paring knife, cut between the little “branches” to make florets.

Serve this easy vegetarian curry with naan bread, cucumber raita, and a salad, and dinner is done!

Turmeric Cauliflower Curry Recipe

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Ingredients

  • 1 head cauliflower (about 1 3/4 pounds)
  • 3 medium Yukon gold potatoes (about 1 1/4 pounds)
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 poblano chili pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped
  • 1 2-inch piece fresh ginger, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup frozen green peas
  • 12 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 limes, quartered, for garnish

Special equipment:

Method

1 Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

2 While waiting for the water to boil, prepare the cauliflower and potatoes: Cut the potatoes into 1 1/2-inch cubes. To prepare the cauliflower, use a chef’s knife to cut a deep cross into the base of the cauliflower. Place your thumbs into the crevice and pull the head apart into 4 quarters Stand each quarter upright, and slice off and discard the core and outer leaves. Break or cut the cauliflower into bite-size florets.

Shahi Cauliflower CurryShahi Cauliflower CurryShahi Cauliflower Curry

3 Cook the potatoes and cauliflower: Carefully transfer the potatoes into the boiling water and cook for 4 minutes. Add the cauliflower and cook for 10 minutes longer, or until the vegetables are tender. (Total cooking time is 14 to 15 minutes) Drain into a colander.

3 Make the curry sauce: In a blender or food processor, combine the water, onion, chili pepper, ginger, turmeric, garam masala, and salt. Puree until smooth.

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4 Cook the curry sauce: Warm the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the sauce and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the cooked cauliflower and potatoes. Taste and add more salt and garam masala, if you like.

5 Finish the dish: Stir the peas and tomatoes into the pot. Heat for 2 to 3 minutes, or until hot. Just before serving, stir in the yogurt and reheat gently (do not let it boil, or the yogurt may curdle.)

Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle with cilantro. Serve with lime wedges.

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