The queen of vegetables – or one of them at any rate – the humble cauliflower. I am always looking for news ways to cook it and this combines Middle Eastern with Indian cuisines. It is the sweet/sour blend of the chaat masala, the pomegranates and the ginger that assault your taste buds, in a good way!
Chaat masala is a spice blend based on dried mango powder. I tried to make my own with dried mangoes but they were too moist and bunged up my spice grinder! So I recommend you buy your own chaat masala from http://www.thespicery.com or from an Indian supermarket.
Failing that you can make your own (see below) but you must get the amchur (mango powder).
Serves 4 as a side dish or 2 as a main.
I medium cauliflower, broken into florets
1 x 400 g tin of chickpeas
1/2 cucumber, deseeded but not peeled and diced
seeds of 1/2 pomegranate (I buy them ready-prepared from the supermarket as de-seeding a pomegranate is a real messy fiddle
big handful fresh coriander
1 1/2 tbsp chaat masala
juice of 1/2 lime
salt to taste
chaat masala (enough for 2 dishes)
3 tsp amchur or dried mango powered
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
3/4 tsp black pepper
3/4 tsp salt
1/3 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
Shake all ingredients together in a jar.
Put a glut of oil in a wide bottomed pan and fry the florets of a high heat, turning them so they don’t burn. Cook for 8-10 minutes or so: you need them to be softened and slightly charred. Chuck in the chickpeas and cook them for a couple of minutes until they are slightly coloured and warmed through. Set aside.
Add the diced cucumber to a serving bowl with the pomegranate seeds, and add the finely chopped coriander.
Finally add the cauliflower/chickpea mixture, along with the chat masala, lime juice and salt to taste, plus a final drizzle of oil. Mix and sprinkle over a pinch of the masala to serve. Here with Asparagus, peas and broad beans Bengali-style.