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Cauliflower & Green Beans with Indian Spices

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Serves 4-6

This makes a satisfying simple supper served with basmati rice.

  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon yellow mustard seed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil; more if needed
  • 1 small yellow onion, cut into medium dice (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 small head cauliflower (1-1/4 to 1-1/2 pounds), trimmed and cut into 1/2- to 1-inch florets (about 3 cups)
  • 8 ounces green beans, trimmed and snapped into 1- to 1-1/2-inch pieces (about 2 cups)
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped into small (about 3/8-inch) pieces
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon finely minced fresh ginger
  • Large pinch dried red chile flakes

Toast the cumin and mustard seeds in a large (preferably  12-inch) dry skillet over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until very fragrant, 4 to 5 minutes; don't let them burn.  Immediately transfer to a small bowl. Put the skillet back on medium-high heat for 1 minute. Pour in the oil and swirl to coat the pan. As soon as the oil is shimmering-but not smoking-add the onion and stir to coat with the oil. After about 30 seconds, add the cauliflower, green beans, and carrot in an even layer across the pan. Season with salt and pepper and let cook undisturbed until the vegetables have begun to brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until the cauliflower is nicely browned, 5 to 7 minutes. If the pan bottom gets too dry and starts to burn, add a scant tablespoon olive oil. Reduce the heat to medium and continue to sauté until the cauliflower is tender, another 2 to 3 minutes. (Cut through a floret with the edge of the metal spatula; the floret should slice in half without crumbling.) Stir in the garlic, ginger, toasted cumin and mustard seeds, and chile flakes. Cook for another minute to blend the flavors. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

nutrition information (per serving):
Size : based on six servings; Calories (kcal): 80; Fat (g): 5; Fat Calories (kcal): 40; Saturated Fat (g): 1; Protein (g): 2; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 3; Carbohydrates (g): 8; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1; Sodium (mg): 260; Cholesterol (mg): 0; Fiber (g): 3;

Photo: Scott Phillips

This recipe was tasty, but not in the form that it was presented here. I found this version to be a bit bland, so I spiced mine up with a dash of a few other spices such as curry powder, coriander and other common indian spices. I also added a cup of diced tomatoes with juices to give it another flavor boost, and to help my cauliflower cook all the way through (I think I cut my cauliflower a bit larger than the recipe recommended). It was delicious when I finished, and even my young daughters (2 and 5) couldn't get enough of it. We'd definitely make it again, but only with the modifications.

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