Every once in a while, a girl's got to take a break from baking cookies, cakes, and brownies and start cooking some vegetables. For this week's Mixed Review I decided to prepare an uber-healthy cauliflower dish using an Arora Creations Indian spice mix.
Like a lot of people, I love to eat Indian food in restaurants but am intimidated to make it at home because of the numerous and unusual spices required for many dishes. Fenugreek? Nigella seeds? Where am I going to find them? And what am I going to do with the leftovers?
What attracted me most to the Arora mix was the fact that it was made entirely from organic, exotic spices, including ground turmeric, ajowan seeds, and amchur powder. For $4.99—plus the cost of some vegetables—I could sample a spicy new cuisine without making a trip to a specialty foods store, and without adding additional bottles to my already overcrowded spice cabinet.
In addition to the contents of the spice packet the Arora mix required some olive oil, a head of cauliflower, a couple of plum tomatoes, a knob of ginger, and a handful of fresh cilantro. Chopped green chilies were optional, but recommended for those who like extra heat.
After sautéing the ginger and tomatoes in the oil for a couple of minutes, I added the spices and then the cauliflower. It seemed like a lot at first—I was a bit afraid I was overloading my pan—but cauliflower cooks down, and after a few minutes everything was simmering away nicely.
Twenty minutes later my cauliflower was tender and the sauce was bubbling, fragrant, and thick. I made a quick sauce of plain yogurt, ground cumin, and chopped mint, and heated a piece of naan from Trader Joe's in the oven.
The results were incredibly satisfying and rich with flavors, yet also light and healthy-tasting. The tender, slightly crunchy florets of cauliflower were the perfect vehicle for the fiery spices, and the fresh bites of ginger and cilantro brought everything together. I will definitely be making this again, on its own, or as a side with Quick Tikka Masala.
This post may contain links to Amazon or other partners; your purchases via these links can benefit Serious Eats. Read more about our affiliate linking policy.