This is the ultimate barometer of the skill of an Indian home cook. It is the most basic of dishes, just cauliflower and potato, so what could go wrong! Lots. This is a dish that is all about patience and a low, slow cook. This is the ultimate test in the subtlety of spicing. Overspice and you kill the cauliflower, underspice and you have hospital food.
1. Put the oil in a large heavy saucepan set over a medium-high heat. When hot, add the cumin seeds and green chilli and fry until the cumin seeds turn a deep golden brown and become fragrant. Turn the heat down to low and add the cubed potato, then cook gently for 8 minutes until it starts to soften at the edges.
2. Add the cauliflower florets, ground turmeric, chilli powder, coriander, mustard, salt and sugar and give everything a good mix together until the cauliflower is fully coated with the spices.
3. Cover with a lid and cook gently for 15–20 minutes, adding a splash of water if necessary and stirring occasionally, until the cauliflower is tender and cooked through.
From Mowgli Street Food: Stories and recipes from the Mowgli Street Food restaurants by Nisha Katona. Nourish Books, 2018. Commissioned photography by Yuki Sugiura. Hardback.
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