Show of hands, who likes Indian food? Hopefully everyone’s hands are up, and if they’re not, that just means you’ve never had it. Just delightful. I came across this recipe last week, and I almost ruined my computer by drooling all over my keyboard. Cauliflower? Good. Tandoori? Gooooood.
Whole Roasted Tandoori Cauliflower – My New Roots (Any hey-o, a new food blog site to start pulling recipes from! It was quite the day of discovery, to say the least)
I did have some slight trepidation embarking on this recipe since I had to purchase some new spices for the blend: Whole Cinnamon sticks and Turmeric. Now, I’m all about new spices, however I’m all about them when I know that I will be making use of the $3-$8 glass viles, not when I’m thinking “Cinnamon sticks, what else do you use with these other than fancy hot chocolate and elaborate spiced wine/cider?” but I bit the bullet, and made the purchases anyways (mainly because the entire aisle of spices were on sale when I went shopping, high five). I did encounter a surprise at the checkout when the HUGE cauliflower I purchased rang up for $12. Twelve dollars is so much money! I could get two $5 foot longs and a $2 customer appreciation 6 inch from Subway (I watch a lot of tv commercials…). I froze and all I could think was “THIS IS LIKE THE SCALLOPS ALL OVER AGAIN, I’M LIVING A NIGHTMARE” as I saw dollar signs with wings flying away furiously. But once I got the attention of a nice young cashier, she said I just selected the wrong produce item (bulk cauliflower vs Michigan cauliflower…of course, how could I be so blind?), and it ended up being a nice and tidy $2.99. Whew.
Now the cauliflower needs to marinate for at least an hour, so I figured I would make it, pop it in the fridge, and go for a nice dark and lonely evening run. Well, wouldn’t you know it, preparing food in your heated apartment while in your WINTER running gear isn’t super comfortable, considering all your clothes are made from space age material designed to hold heat in. So with each spice grind
…and garlic/ginger mash
I was red faced, and slightly sweaty.
I began the yogurt marinade once the spices and mash were ready, and a slow panic started to slowly fill through my body. I have never had any success with yogurt sauces. For some reason the lemon/salt ratio I can never master, and I always end of adding more of one to counterbalance the other, and it just ends up being an unedible bitter/salty mess. So I assembled it, with the 10000 spices and potent additions, and then added the lemon, yogurt, and salt. This thing is just a flavor powerhouse. I took a deep breathe, and cautiously dipped my pinky tip into the sauce. After careful sight and smell evaluation, I slowly placed the sauce-swabbed finger into my mouth. Yikes.
I tried not to freak out too much because baking mellows things out right you guys? Right. I placed it in the fridge and set on my run (where a dog scared me, a guy running past me scared me, and I almost fell throat first into a wooden spike…which of course scared me as well, all in the first 2 miles! Sidenote: according to John to scare/startle me all you need to do is exist in 3 dimensions. Apparently I’m jumpy?). I came back, and it was oven time!
Well now doesn’t that just look delicious?! And now to prepare a plate:
After consulting the recipe for presentation, I noticed a glaring error in my efforts: I did not purchase anything for the mint chutney!!! I dropped to my knees, fists in the air, and cursed this wretched world. Well, not really, it was more of a “damn, scroll down FURTHER next time Erica!” I did have some cilantro in my fridge, so I garnished the slice and added a drizzle of some olive oil.
Well, don’t worry, the marinade was delicious. It does have a very powerful flavor, but it balances VERY well with the cauliflower. What I would change net time: the brain I picked out was SO big, that even after an extra 15 minutes of baking the middle was still a little al dente (not bad though), so next time I would perhaps cut it into quarters and then toss in the marinade so after baking the middle will get to that great creamy cauliflower consistency. All in all, a lovely evening with my sweaty clothes and baked cauliflower (and not wooden spike-impaled throat!)