I love cauliflower and I especially love the taste of roast cauliflower. I’m always looking for ways to use up the huge trays of them that I bring home from market. Last night I wanted a side dish to go with the Lamb Saag that I’d cooked for dinner (side dishes are something that I can never decide on!) and my experiment turned into something that was totally delicious. If you’re looking for a seasonal side dish for tonight – please give it a go!
The word ‘bhaji’ can mean something mixed with gram flour and spices before it’s crisply fried, or it can mean a vegetable dish that has a small amount of sauce clinging to the vegetables. My version is roast rather than being made in a saucepan and is really quick to do.
Roast Cauliflower Bhaji
Serves 2-3 as a side dish. Preheat the oven 200C 180C fan Gas 7
225g cauliflower (about half a medium one)
1/2 a small onion cut finely into half moons
A handful of cherry tomatoes cut in half OR 2 large, sliced
Spice mixture 1: 1tsp ground coriander, 1tsp ground cumin, 1/4 tsp turmeric, 1/2 tsp chilli powder, 1 tsp salt. (buy these spices on our Ebay shop here)
Spice mixture 2: 1/2 tsp mustard seeds, 1/2 tsp whole cumin seeds and 1-2 whole dried red chillies broken into three pieces – leave these out if you want less heat. (buy these spices on our Ebay shop here)
3cm piece of ginger
Cut the cauliflower into florets that are quite small about 5cm long by 4cm wide – try to keep some stem attached to them so that they don’t break up. Spread out onto a baking tray. Don’t forget to add any young green leaves to the pan, too!
Put onion on the tray with the cauliflower.
Put the tomatoes on the tray with the cauliflower and onions.
Put all of Spice Mixture 1 in a bowl and add 4tblsp water on top of them and mix thoroughly. As evenly as possible, pour this over the vegetables on the tray and mix around until coated.
Peel and cut finely the ginger into strips. Set aside.
In a small saucepan, add 3-4 tblsp flavourless oil and set over medium heat. Add the seeds and dried chilli (if using). As soon as the mustard seeds begin to pop, turn off the heat and add the finely cut ginger. Stir well.
As evenly as possible pour the contents of the saucepan over the vegetables and stir around until they’re all coated.
Place in the oven and cook for 10 minutes before getting the tray out and gently stirring everything around. Put back in the oven for another 10 minutes or until the cauliflower is cooked through and is starting to go crispy in places and the onions are golden. Serve as a side dish with your favourite curry, or add a drained can of chickpeas to the tray with the tomatoes, to make a lovely veggie dish.