Cauliflower & pomegranate chaat

2017-05-30 12.05.09The 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 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
rapeseed oil
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.2017-05-30 13.03.17

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