Cauliflower Korma

		This goes with just about anything, and is fairly
		easy and reliable to make.  This reflects the
		unchanged practice of TSC with its variations over
		many decades.  It happens to be a vegan dish.

	INGREDIENTS (in order of use):
	Those in brackets are independent optional variations.
	Suggestion is to avoid all the optionals to start, and
	then play the permutation game.

	4    TBS oil/ghee

	[2    @  bay leaves, optional]
	[3    @  whole cloves, optional]

	1     @  onion, medium, chopped coarsely
	4    clv garlic
	1     @  piece of ginger about 1" x 2"
	[1/3 cup (5 TBS) yoghurt, optional]

	1    tsp cumino, ground
	2    tsp coriander, ground
	1    tsp turmeric, ground
	2    tsp salt
	[1/2 tsp cardamom, ground, optional]

	1     @  cauliflower, separated into medium florettes

	2-3   @  chopped/diced tomatoes (fresh or canned 14.5 ozs)
	1-2   @  hot green chiles (jalapeƱos), chopped, medium fine

	1    cup water

	1     @  lemon (or lime), juice of (about 2 TBS)
	1    tsp garam masala
	1-4  TBS coarsely chopped cilantro

	A good sized fry pan with cover.  An electric fry pan works
	especially well.


	1. Use blender or food processor to make a smooth paste from
	   garlic, ginger and onion,
	2. Heat the pan to about 325-350, add the oil or melt the ghee,
	   swirling them in the pan.

	[3. Add the bay leaf and or cloves, until bayleaf starts to brown.]

	4. Add the paste and fry, stirring for about 3-5 minutes, allowing
	   it to brown a bit - or not.  Browning will mellow and deepen
	   the flavors.  You want, at least, to dry the paste, and you
	   can see this happening by oil separation from the paste.

	5. Add the spice group and salt, and keep stirring for another
	   minute.  You want to develop the flavors of the spices by
	   cooking in oil.

	[6. Add the yoghurt, one TBS at a time, continue stirring.]

	7. Off heat, and mix the cauliflower florettes into the sauce.
	   Coating it all so it is yellow.  Last, turn all the florettes
	   stem side down.  They should all be uniformly yellow from
	   the turmeric.  Yes, this is a minor pain in the ass; the
	   spiced paste (masala) may have gotten a bit thick, (not very
	   likely if you have used the yoghurt) so make it a bit soupy
	   by mixing in some of the water, if necessary.

	8. Reheat to a low simmer, add one cup of water from the side,
	   cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until the cauliflower
	   is tender.

	9. Raise heat and uncover, distribute over the cauliflower
	   the tomtoes, then the chilies, and then the lemon juice.
	   Do not mix.

       10. Cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.

       11. Uncover, distribute the garam masala evenly over all.

	   The sauce will now be a tad watery.  Leave uncovered, raise
	   the heat, and in good French tradition, reduce and concentrate
	   the flavors for about 10 minutes.

		-- hold point --

	   Sprinkle over with the chopped cilantro, allowing it just
	   to wilt, and serve immediately.

	   Nice if it can be served from the cooking pan, with the
	   color/pattern aesthetics of presentation preserved.


	1. When you are finished making this, however simple
	   it may look, no one should be able to tell what the
	   ingredients were - beyond the utterly obvious.
	   Red, green and yellow are the colors of many national
	   flags.  No Maud, it's not Mexican. [sigh]

	2. While the Chinese prefer their vegetables cooked but
	   still crispy (and more intrinsically flavorful), Indians
	   cook their vegetables well, relying on the various
	   spices and herbs to carry the dish.

	   Done correctly, the caulifower in this dish should be so
	   tender that it barely holds together (not crunchy) -
	   which is why there is no essential mixing or stirring
	   once the cauliflower has entered the cooking arena.
	   The cauliflower is essentially steamed.

	   A different philosophy is very much associated with a
	   different set of culinary results and techniques to
	   achieve them.


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Created: June 24, 2007
Last Updated: November 12, 2007
Last Updated: March 22, 2008