Recipe credit: Darshana Muzumdar
Serves 4-6 as part of an Indian meal
Important Note: Cauliflower ranks among the top 25 powerhouse fruits and vegetables in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Aggregate Nutrient Density Index (ANDI), a scoring method that ranks foods based on their nutrient content per calorie.
- 500 – 800 gms cauliflower
- 2 large onions, sliced thinly
- 3 cups long grained rice
- 1 coconut, grated
- ½ cup coriander leaves chopped
- 4 tbsps groundnut or coconut oil
Ingredients for the Dry Spice Masala
- 5 cloves
- 1 tbsp coriander seeds
- ½ tsp black cumin or cumin seeds
- 2 cm cinnamon
- 3 – 4 red chillies
For the Tempering
- 4 cloves
- 4 cardamoms
- 1/4 tsp caraway seeds (shah jeera) or black jeera
Powder the cloves, coriander seeds, black cumin seeds, red chilli, and cinnamon coarsely and keep aside ready to use.
Grate or scrape the coconut. Put it in a blender jar and add enough water to just about cover it. Grind it fine and strain it to get about 2 cups of thick coconut milk. Get the second extract by returning the leftover fiber to the blender jar and adding enough water to allow the blades to turn easily. Use this for making chhaas (buttermilk) or for the cauliflower bhaat.
Slice the onions thin and long. Chop the cauliflower into bite sized pieces. Clean, wash and drain the rice and keep it aside ready to use.
Heat the oil in a large thick bottom steel pot. Add the cloves, cardamoms, and caraway seeds (shah jeera) for seasoning. When the cloves become brown and the caraway seeds/black jeera splutter, add the sliced onions and fry till golden brown on medium to low heat. Add salt to the onion to release the moisture faster. Add the rice and stir it gently till it turns whitish. Add the cauliflower pieces and stir. If the rice takes a short time to cook, it’s best to cover the pot and allow the cauliflower to cook a little. Add the coconut milk and another 4 cups of water. Add salt and the powdered spices. Stir well, bring to a boil, and simmer till the rice is cooked. Once it is done, turn off the heat and add the chopped coriander. Mix gently and garnish with a little more chopped coriander before serving.
If a pressure cooker is being used to cook the rice, use only a total of 5 cups of liquid: 2 cups coconut milk + 3 cups water.
For the Whole-Food Plant-Based (WFPB) version:
Do not use oil. Heat an iron tempering ladle and dry roast the spices for the seasoning. Transfer them to the pot in which you are going to make the rice. Add the onions and some salt and sauté till the onions are soft and translucent and start caramelizing on the edges. If the onions need more cooking, add some water and cook covered till you get the desired softness.
Do not strain the coconut. Grate or scrape the coconut and grind it along with the cloves, coriander seeds, black cumin/cumin seeds, dry red chilli and cinnamon till it is very fine. Add more water to make 6 cups. Follow the rest of the recipe as above.
Use rock salt instead of refined salt.