This is no ordinary side dish. The combination of juicy cauliflower, sweet-and-sour tamarind and pineapple, plus freshly made masala spice mix will hypnotise you into making it many times over.
- 1 cauliflower
- salt, to taste
- 80 ml (⅓ cup) vegetable oil
- 1 tbsp brown mustard seeds
- 10 curry leaves
- 1 pinch asafoetida powder
- 60 g (⅓ cup) grated jaggery
- 1 tbsp tamarind paste
- 2 pineapples, peeled, cored and cut into 2.5 cm pieces
- 12 black peppercorns
- ¼ tsp fenugreek
- 8 dried Kashmiri chillies
- 1 green chilli, roughly chopped
- ½ tsp ground turmeric
- 1 cup freshly grated coconut
- ½ pomegranate, seeds removed
- 1 small handful coriander leaves
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Slice cauliflower into 2 cm-thick steaks. Place in a single layer on a large baking tray, season to taste and drizzle with a little oil. Bake for 40 minutes until golden and tender.
2. For the masala, place the peppercorns and fenugreek in dry frying pan and shake over medium heat for 2-3 minutes or until fragrant. Transfer to a blender, add the chillies, turmeric, coconut and a splash of water and process into a fine paste.
3. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the mustard seeds and cook for 1-2 minutes or until the seeds begin to pop. Add the curry leaves, asafoetida and the masala paste and stir for 2 minutes, then stir in the jaggery, tamarind, pineapple and a pinch of salt. Add 250 ml (1 cup) water, reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for 25 minutes. Towards the end of cooking, remove the lid and simmer uncovered if the sauce needs thickening.
4. To serve, divide the cauliflower between serving plates. Spoon over the pineapple sansav, then scatter with pomegranate seeds and coriander leaves.
Diana Chan is exploring the many dishes of Asia within Australia in the brand-new series, Asia Unplated with Diana Chan.