On Friday I assisted Fanny, one of the school’s chef’s in the kitchen. We made Indian food. I don’t have much experience with Indian food but when you buy pre mixed spices, it’s pretty foolproof. We made sautéed spinach, Dal, fried cauliflower balls, coconut curry sauce, white rice, and roasted potatoes with green beans. The base ingredients for the Dal, spinach, and sauce are really simple. We started out with equal parts olive oil, onion liquid, and ginger liquid. We bought the liquid onion and ginger but it is really easy to prepare at home. For the onions all you have to do is run them through the food processer for 30 seconds and (Walla,) you have liquid onions. The ginger you have to peel and then go through the same process.
Honestly after the liquid mixture has solidified, we used the same process of seasoning all three dishes as well. 9 ounces of chopped tomatoes, Garam Masala, which is a combination of many spices including: ginger, salt, peppercorns, cardamom, nutmeg, coriander, etc and then we used extra salt, coriander and fennel seed. Of course the curry received another curry mix and about 30 ounces of coconut milk. Once all of these dishes were cooking, the work is pretty much over except for the occasional stirring so we went on to make the cauliflower balls.
These are a simple concept but you wouldn’t really think to make them. The texture is akin to a falafel on the outside but the inside isn’t as crispy. These are really easy to make the biggest problem is, especially when you are making a lot of them, rolling each individual ball. There are ways around this, but when your not in your own kitchen, you don’t have the perfect sized cookie scooper. You can use the two-spoon technique if you don’t want to get your hands dirty but this comes with a disadvantage; you can only roll one at a time. So I dug both my hands into the cauliflower mixture and roll out 2 simultaneously. I almost forgot, How do you prepare the cauliflower mixture? Simple!
Put the grader attachment on the top of your food processer. Stuff each individual floret of cauliflower into the tube and gently press down with the press. Once you have graded all of the cauliflower or the food processer is full, dump the graded cauliflower into a bowl. Follow the same seasoning procedure that we used with all the other stuff Garam Masala, salt, coriander, and fennel seed. Mix the spices into the cauliflower. Then add chickpea flour into the cauliflower. This is the crucial part. As you are mixing, squeeze the cauliflower. You will notice that it will start to release water. At this point, heat a deep dish and fill it with sunflower or canola oil. You don’t want to use olive oil when you are frying something because its compounds change at high heat and it becomes a carcinogen. Start rolling the cauliflower mixture into equally sized balls and then fry them. You want to make sure that the balls are brown but not chard. The easiest way to maneuver them once they are in the fryer is with a spider. If you make a lot you will have to fry them in batches for best results. Once they are all cooked, serve them with the coconut curry sauce.
The Indian Food was really good. Although I would have liked some more variety in terms of the seasoning, given the circumstances, I couldn’t have ask for anything more. Everyone enjoyed the food and there are lots of leftovers for the weekend!
I will definitely do some more experimenting with Indian and other ethnic foods when I get back into my own kitchen in June. At which time, I will publish more thorough recipes.