It’s only words and words are all I have…..
I have always liked that song. Something about it resonated with me. Felt that it is a song about love between any two people. A bit like that movie “Love actually”. In fact it could be about love between anybody and anything. You know like the love between the people of Mumbai and the rain yesterday. Even the one between a kid and Messi on the latter’s birthday with the fanfare of cake-cutting and a family dine out. Or like the love between Harry Potter and his beloved holly and phoenix feather wand.
And some love between me and my mother’s Full Kopi-r roast alias whole cauliflower steam roast with her special decoration of whole green chillies popping out making it look like the Devil’s fangs. I personally dislike this decoration. But like she asks me if I have combed my hair every time I step out undaunted by my age which is nearing fifty, she asks me if I have inserted the green chillies in the designated crevices every unfailing time I tell her that I have cooked the roast. Regardless of green chilly embellishment, Ma’s cauliflower roast, trust me, is a delicious dish.
My food word for this recipe would be unique.
When you go out shopping look for:
A white well bloomed cauliflower
About six red onions
Two medium sized tomatoes
An inch of ginger
Say fifty grams of cashew nuts, suggest you use the broken variety to save some money, if you are feeling penurious
Three tbsp cream to make it rich, being controversial aren’t I? Maybe, only for parties.
Spices to go along would be cumin powder, turmeric powder, chilly powder, three small green cardamoms, four cloves, two bay leaves and a stick of cinnamon
Obviously salt to season
The recipe would be:
At first tear off the leaves from the flower. In a little bowl mix one and a half tsp salt, half tsp turmeric powder and one tsp red chilli powder. Rub the flower gently with this mix and set aside for an hour. In warm oil fry the flower from all sides till golden in colour. The same golden fragrance will waft through your whole house making it feel warm and lovable. Yes, we are kind of back to the song and the senses it can create.
Make a paste with the onions and the ginger. Separately after soaking the cashew in water for half an hour, make a nutty paste. Simultaneously set the whole tomatoes to simmer in warm water for five minutes, cool them and blitz them in a blender.
Warm your cooking wok or pan with three tbsp cooking oil. Flavour the oil with two bay leaves and three green cardamoms, four cloves and a tiny stick of cinnamon. In medium heat start frying the onion-ginger paste for a couple of minutes and then add the tomato paste. Mix well and add two tsp cumin powder, one tsp red chilly powder, half tsp turmeric powder and salt to taste. Cook this paste in medium to low heat for four odd minutes. It is time to mix in the cashew paste and cook it all for three more minutes. A dash of sugar here is optional. The cream can be added now but as I suggested it is an optional step. Add four tbsp warm water and in another minute switch off the cooking heat allowing the paste to come to its room temperature.
Please use your hands for this step, take the mix and keep filling into the spaces of the cauliflower turning it upside down. Ensure that the mix finds its way into as many little gaps as possible. Also, coat the flower head generously with the mix. Please leave some of the mix aside and coat the bottom of a pressure cooker with it. Pour half a cup of hot water and place the flower crown upward. Lid the cooker and allow the cooker to gas up with the weight on. Stick around in the kitchen with one ear on the sounds which come from the cooker. Just when you find that the cooker is bloating, take the weight off and reduce the heat. The cauliflower will steam roast now for at least another ten minutes in low heat. Switch it off and let it sit inside till you are ready to eat. Serve with a sprinkle of fresh coriander leaves, a carving knife and a spoon.
Nope, no devil’s fangs for me, thank you. Enjoy with breads. Indian breads like parathas accompany very beautifully.