When it comes to cauliflower, give it all you got
Cauliflower has been big in the last 5 years thanks to the Keto crowd who make everything from rice to pizza crust out of it. Unfortunately for me, I just never was that big of a fan. Cauliflower always struck me as bland and difficult to add flavor into no matter how much cheese sauce was heaped on top.
The dullness and overall seemingly unremarkable flavor of this Brassica vegetable is surprisingly its superpower. Essentially, it is a blank slate to which to paint with the brightest of colors. Cauliflower soaks up spices and strong flavors and subdues them in the most appetizing way. What other vegetables can hold its own to such strong flavors like vinegar, curry spice and the spiciest of chilis?
Fried and smothered in spice
In an attempt to eat better, my husband went out and bought a deep fryer. His rationale is that we would eat more vegetables if they were deep-fried. Some people think this argument is foolish but those same people probably have never fully experienced the joys of Scottish cuisine. For you see here, battered and fried is the way of the Scots.
Honestly, I love frying cauliflower. It’s a great way to prevent it from being overcooked, mushy and smelling of farts. The outside batter forms a seal around the floret that allows it to lightly steam inside.
Red Hot Gobi 65
This recipe is not for the faint of heart. When I say spicy, I mean SPICY. This means chili pepper everywhere. Chili pepper in the batter and more chilis in the red hot sauce. Go big or go home, am I right?
For someone like me with an insatiable spice tooth, this Gobi 65 hits just the spot. Hearty veg coated in the crispiest of batter then fried and covered in a spiced up red hot sauce. Nothing could be better.
Lightly blanched cauliflower florets coated in a spiced up batter then deep-fried and tossed in the spiciest of chili sauces. Great as a snack, appetizer or side dish. #cauliflower #veg #spicy #vegetarian #appetizer
1 head of cauliflower
1 tsp ground turmeric
2 cups / 480 ml of boiling water
1/2 cup plus 2-3 tbsp of flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
3 tsp cayenne pepper ( 1 tsp for the batter and 2 tsp for the sauce)
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
6–8 oz / 180-240 ml of soda water
1 tsp sea salt
2 red chilis (sliced)
1 tbsp garlic (minced)
1 tbsp ginger (minced)
2 tbsp butter
10 dried curry leaves (optional)
2 oz / 60 ml white wine vinegar
1/2 tbsp sugar
Wash cauliflower and remove any discolored bits.
Break down the head of cauliflower into florets. You can go small or big, your choice.
Place the florets in a heat-proof bowl and sprinkle 1 tsp of ground turmeric on top followed by 2 cups (480 ml) of boiling water or however much will fully submerge the florets. Let sit for 10 minutes.
After 10 minutes, drain the florets and allow to air dry a bit.
While florets are soaking in hot water, start on the batter. Mix 1/2 cup of flour, 1/2 cup of cornstarch, 1 tsp of ground cumin, 1 tsp of onion powder, 1 tsp of garlic powder and 1 tsp of cayenne pepper. Mix together until everything is evenly dispersed. Add soda water to the flour mixture and mix until a batter is formed. This should be thick but still liquid enough to move easily (~6-8 oz / 180 -240 ml should do it). Once the batter is made, place in the fridge or freezer to get cold until ready to use.
Now, back to the florets. Sprinkle 1 tsp of sea salt over florets and toss together until everything is evenly seasoned. Then sprinkle 2-3 tbsp of flour over florets until everything is evenly coated in flour. Don’t skip this step or you will find that the batter just falls right off of the cauliflower.
Pour the cold batter over the floured florets and gently toss together until evenly coated.
Now the florets are ready for frying. If you have a deep-fryer like me, heat the fryer to 170 C and fry until golden and crispy (this should take 5-10 minutes depending on size and how cold the batter is). If not using a deep fryer, fry on the stove in a generous amount of oil over medium-high heat. You’ll know when the oil is hot and ready for frying when you add a dollop of batter to it and it sizzles vigorously. Again, fry until golden and crispy.
Remove fried cauliflower and place on paper towels to drain away and soak up excess oil.
While cauliflower is resting, work on the sauce.
In a saucepan, melt 2 tbsp of butter over medium heat with minced garlic, minced ginger, sliced chilis, dried curry leaves (optional) and 2 tsp of cayenne pepper. Stir and cook until fragrant but be careful to not burn the garlic and ginger. This should take around 3-5 minutes. Once fragrant, add 2 oz / 60 ml of white wine vinegar along with 1/2 tbsp of white sugar to the spices and increase heat to medium-high. Let bubble away for 3-5 minutes then turn off heat and season with sea salt to taste.
Add fried florets to toss and toss until everything is evenly coated in the red hot spicy sauce then transfer to a plate and serve.
- Category: Appetizer, side dish, Snack
- Method: Frying, simmering
- Cuisine: Indian, Fusion
Keywords: cauliflower, vegetable, Indian, spicy, cayenne pepper, cumin, fried, simmering, chilis, garlic, ginger, curry leaves, vegetarian, side dish, appetizer, snack, recipe, gobi 65, gobi
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