Father’s Day: Sprouting Cauliflower Pulihora

A Sprouting Cauliflower showed up in the CSA (Community Shared Agriculture) bag this week for Father’s Day. With a quick internet scan I learn that it is also called Chinese Cauliflower in Asian markets, though its genesis is attributed to a Japanese breeder.

Don’t be distracted by its disheveled, shaggy looks. In fact it is a sweeter version of the regular old cauliflower. I take inspiration from my friend’s Mom who makes the best Andhra-style pulihora (tamarind rice) in town. I do a half-and-half. Curry leaf infused, mild rice –to elicit all the sweetness of the sprouting cauliflower– paired with hot, naughty pulihora. This will knock your socks off. Enjoy!

Special tools:

Processor; microwave.

Ingredients

  • In Processor: 1 Sprouting Cauliflower + 3-4 stalks of curry leaves
  • 1 tsp puliogare powder (or any other spice mix of your choice)
  • 1 tsp oil
  • salt to taste

Method

Pulse in the processor till coarsely riced. Cover with damp paper towel and microwave for 4-5 minutes, till al dente but not mushy. Mix in salt to taste. Divide into two equal portions. Heat oil in a pan and very lightly toast the spice powder and mix in one half of the riced cauliflower.

Notes, hints, tips:
  1. Ricing the cauliflower is also a good use of the stem portion of the head. If you can handle heat, then also pulse in half a green chilli.
  2. I use a store bought puliogare powder, perhaps to the horror of my friend’s Mom. It works out fine, although nothing beats a homemade mix.
  3. If too hot, serve with yogurt.

A Fistful Of Grains

Muthia means a fistful and you may have seen it in Indian Delis (or Freezer sections). The one here however is even more interesting. And, if the title triggers flashes of Clint Eastwood, it is intentional 😉

But back to delicious, conscientious eating. A more assertive substitute for plain white rice is a mixture of whole grains that Asian grocery stores are already stocking. There is always leftover rice and here is how you transform les restes to je ne sais quoi irresistible morsels. Enjoy!


SPECIAL TOOLS:

None.

INGREDIENTS

  • Macerate overnight: 1 1/2 cups cooked mixed grains + 1/4 cup yogurt + 1 shallot finely minced + 1/4 inch ginger finely grated + 1 finely chopped green chilli + salt to taste + (optional: oat flour)
  • For tempering: 1 tbsp oil, 1/tsp mustard seeds + 1 dozen fragrant curry leaves
  • Slices of heirloom tomatoes for serving
  • Topping: cottage cheese

METHOD

If the rice mixture is too runny, thicken with the oat flour. Steam the rice mixture for about 15 minutes. Let cool slightly and shape roughly into little balls (fistfuls).

Heat oil in a non-stick pan for tempering. Add the mustard seeds and curry leaves. When they begin to sputter, gently place the balls. Flip gently after a tw minutes and let lightly brown on the other side.

Serve warm with slices of Heirloom tomatoes and topped with a little cottage cheese.

NOTES, HINTS, TIPS:

  1. The mixed grain used here was from the Asian market. It has regular and hulled barley + rye berries + black rice + red rice + brown rice. Follow the instructions on the package.
  2. For steaming, I used a steaming basket lined with parchment. Since the steaming basket was that of a pressure cooker, I succumbed to temptation and pressure-steamed for 12 minutes, under medium pressure. This softened the grains a bit.
  3. Since the grain here are not as docile as plain white rice, in fact they provide a nice texture.