Jairus and I are obsessed with Indian food. Most Indian recipes are inherently vegan, so we don’t even need to modify them! Recently, Jairus discovered a little family owned Indian market here in CVille. We were like kids in a candy shop. So many hard to find spices for so cheap! So we stocked up and created our own “masala daba”, or “spice box”. In our case, its not a box, we just filled up many mason jars on the countertop with our frequently used Indian spices. They are so colorful and so fragrant!
We cook Indian meals constantly. A month or so ago, in the process of moving, I rediscovered an old family cookbook that was given to me by the daughter of one of my Dad’s clients. Their family is Indian, and in this homemade cookbook, the daughter compiled all of her traditional family recipes and explanations of all of the spices, their origins, and how to use them! It was like finding a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. Ever since, I’ve been trying these recipes left and right. This particular recipe, kubi nu shaak, is a very light cauliflower curry dish that can be accompanied by a slew of other vegetables of your choice. I chose to throw in onions, peas and kale because that’s what I had laying around in my fridge.
Jairus commented that this recipe was far less “soupy” than Indian food that we typically find at restaurants. After some research, I have found that is because most restaurants serve Punjab style Indian, which is a totally different region. It is a large country, after all! In my opinion, the recipes from the family cookbook that I have are much lighter, healthier, with more elegant and refined curries.
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
- 1/2 tsp caraway seeds
- 1/2 tsp tumeric
- Salt + pepper to taste
- Cumin to taste
- Coriander to taste
- 2-3 red hot chiles, dried, cut in half
- 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
- A few handfuls of kale, roughly chopped
- a handful of frozen peas
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- cilantro, chopped, for garnish
- 1 lime
- basmati rice
- Earth Balance vegan butter
- Tandoori Naan (just because!)
- Heat the olive oil in a skillet
- Add mustard seeds. Once the seeds start popping, you know the oil is hot!
- Add the caraway, tumeric and hot chiles and move around with a spoon so they don’t burn.
- Add the vegetables to the skillet. Pour 1/2 cup or so of water over the vegetables and cover. Stir periodically to ensure even coating of the curry over the vegetables. As the curry cooks, more water (or vegetable broth) may be needed so that the vegetables do not stick to the bottom of the pan.
- Meanwhile, steam some basmati rice and bake the Naan in the oven.
- The curry is finished when the vegetables are fork tender. Add cumin, coriander, salt and pepper to taste. I also modified this by finishing the curry with a pad of Earth Balance because I’m a fatty!
- Serve over basmati rice with chopped cilantro and a squeeze of lime!