I’ve been eating a version of spiced cauliflower since I was about seven years old. My Mother cooked the best recipe I’ve tasted to date. I’m not sure if it was her homemade spice mixture or the fact that she didn’t muck it up by adding tomatoes. Known as Aloo Gobi in Indian cooking, this recipe is a modern interpretation with some healthy upgrades thrown in. Traditional recipes are likely to use more oil and spices which decrease the healthiness of the dish and taste of the main ingredients, the vegetables. I make this every week and it’s perfect as a meal or vegetarian side dish and is 100% Whole30, Paleo and Vegan compliant. Try to use organic vegetables and spices, it does make a difference in taste.
Ingredients for Spiced Cauliflower with Potato and Leek:
- Head of cauliflower broken into equally sized medium florets (pat dry after rinsing)
- 2 medium white or red potatoes cut lengthwise and then sliced into 1/2 inch thick half circles
- 1 leek roughly chopped (substitute spring onion)
- 1 tablespoon virgin coconut oil (pls don’t use olive oil for high heat cooking!)
- 1 large sized knob of ginger sliced lengthwise
- 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder (optional or substitute black pepper)
Start by heating the coconut oil in a heavy based skillet on medium high heat for a couple of minutes. Once hot, roast the ginger, cumin and mustard seeds in the oil for 30-60 seconds. Careful, the mustard seeds may begin to pop and splutter. Quickly add the cauliflower and potato. Toss so that pieces are coated evenly with oil and spices. Keep on high heat for 2-3 minutes, keep tossing. We’re looking for slight caramelization on the florets.
Add quarter cup of water and let cook without lid for another few minutes. Once water has completely evaporated, sprinkle turmeric and salt evenly over contents of the skillet. Toss on high heat for another few minutes. Repeat step of adding water. Once water has dried again, reduce heat to medium (make sure cauliflower and potato are tender) and add leeks. Toss and cook for another few minutes. Do not add water again once leeks have been added. Turn off heat and leave on stovetop for ten minutes before serving.
Note: Many add 1-2 teaspoons of coriander powder or garam masala to recipes for spiced cauliflower, it’s not necessary. In addition to the leeks, I add some kale leaves every once in a while. Add them toward the end, same with the leeks so they don’t overcook and become bitter.