Winter is almost over and before bidding goodbye, I want to take advantage of the produce that is in season during these cold months.
Let’s talk about cauliflower, potatoes, and throw in some snow peas in the mix too. What makes this vegetable combination even better is the garlic-onion-bell pepper-ginger purée that is cooked with warm Indian spices that blankets them with exotic flavors.
This dish will transport you to a different world… it will welcome you with its wonderful aroma, tickle your taste buds with delicious spices, warm your heart, and fill up your belly. (I’m not exaggerating, promise!)
Spiced Cauliflower, Potatoes, and Snow Peas
Slightly adapted from Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Asian Cooking recipe for Spiced Potatoes, Cauliflower, and Peas
2 yellow potatoes, 11 oz
½ teaspoon salt
1 head cauliflower
1-2 handfuls of snow peas, cut in half
¼ cup olive oil
1 small onion, roughly chopped
2 inch piece fresh ginger
3 cloves of garlic
1 mini bell pepper or a small bell pepper, roughly chopped
1 ½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon cayenne
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
Tomato Paste Mixture
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
½ teaspoon sugar
1 cup water
fresh basil leaves, to garnish
Fill a medium size pot ¾ full of water and bring the water to a boil over medium high heat.
While the water is heating, peel the potatoes and cut into approximately 1 inch cubes. Cut the cauliflower into florets by carefully trimming the stems and removing the core.
When the water is boiling, lower the heat to medium and add ½ teaspoon of salt. Put the potato cubes into the boiling water and cook for 5-6 minutes. The potatoes should be partially tender with a bit of resistance. Pierce a few potato cubes with a sharp knife to test for doneness. Turn off the stove and drain the potatoes into a colander. Rinse the hot potatoes right away under cold, running water to prevent from further cooking and set aside.
Put the chopped onion, ginger, garlic, and chopped bell pepper into a food processor and purée into a smooth, thick paste. Set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk the following well together: salt, cumin, coriander, turmeric, cayenne, and cinnamon. Set aside.
In a medium size bowl, stir well together the tomato paste, lemon juice, sugar, and water. Set aside.
Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a deep, large frying pan. When the oil is hot, sauté the onion paste until brown bits form here and there and the paste thickens considerably, about 5 minutes. Add the spice mixture and stir to mix, about 15 seconds. Add the cauliflower florets and sauté until each floret is coated with the paste, about 2 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste mixture, the potatoes, and the snow peas. Cover and let cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Lower the heat to medium low, put the cover back on, and let cook for about 8 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Make sure to stir gently so as not to mash the vegetables. Turn off the stove and move the pan away from the heat.
Move the vegetables into a serving platter or bowl and garnish with fresh basil leaves. Serve immediately.