Cauliflower and potato Surprise
Although this was one of four cauliflower and potato vegetables served at a recipe testing banquet, it was unanimously voted the favorite. It is indeed popular through out much of North India, this version a long-time secret from the Shashi gupta family of Kurukshetra. I noticed that although undeniably rich, it is always one of the first to disappear at holiday dinners. I often use homemade yogurt, or good commercial yogurt like Brown Cow or Nancy’s instead of cream or sour Cream. It is every bit as delicious and far less caloric.
Preparation and cooking time (after assembling ingredients): 35 minutes
• Baking potatoes peeled and cut into rounds ¼ -inch (6 mm) thick – 2 large (about 1 pound/455 g)
• Ghee or vegetable oil for frying
• Trimmed and divided into flowerets – 1 medium-sized cauliflower (about 2 pounds/1 kg),
• Dry-roasted coarsely crushed cumin seeds – 1 teaspoon (5 ml)
• Fresh coarsely ground black pepper – ¼ teaspoon (1 ml)
• Cayenne pepper or paprika – 1/8 teaspoon (0.5 ml)
• Turmeric – ½ teaspoon (2 ml)
• Salt – 1 teaspoon (5 ml)
• Fresh plain yogurt or sour cream, at room temperature – 1 cup (240 ml) very
• Parsley springs for garnishing
1. Rinse the potatoes in cold water, rubbing the slices gently between your palms to remove surface starch. Pat the rounds dry with paper towels. This step is not essential but helps to keep the potatoes white and prevents them from sticking together during frying.
2. Pour in enough ghee or vegetable oil to half fill a deep-frying vessel. Place over moderate heat and allow it to slowly reach 375 F (190 C). If you use a roomy wok or karai, you can fry all of the potatoes at once; if the pan is small, divide into two batches. Carefully add the potatoes and fry until golden brown (8-10 minutes). Remove the slices with a slotted spoon and drain on paper-towel-lined cookie sheets. Fry each batch of potatoes and cauliflower until tender and golden brown. (I keep the fried vegetables warm in a preheated oven).
3. When all of the vegetables are fried and still warm, place them in a large bowl. Sprinkle with the cumin seeds, black pepper, cayenne or paprika, turmeric and salt. Gently toss the delicate vegetables to coat with the spices. Fold in the yogurt or sour cream, garnish with the parsley sprigs and serve piping hot.
Note: The yogurt or sour cream puts a glistering coat of sauce on the crisp vegetables, which must be served immediately. If the dish is kept warm or held before serving the vegetables absorb the sauce and the dish becomes dry.
5 or 6
5 or 6
By Yamuna Devi Dasi