I have this relationship with the cauliflower – I love this cruciferous vegetable because of its texture and versatlity. Its packed with anti oxidants and high with anti-inflammatory properties thats its the most recommended vegetable for cancer prevention! I use it so many different ways in parathas, well hidden in my Corn Florentine, meaty and delicious in Gobhi Shimla Mirch Subzi, processed and mixed in my Gobhi Parathas, and of course in my favourite Chettinadu Cauliflower Masal Dosa. I still had the search for that punch filled cauliflower gravy and I chanced upon Ajoy Joshi`s website and fell for this Chettinadu Pepper Chicken. Out came the chicken and got replaced with fresh cauliflower florettes! The only difference is possibly in the creaminess of this gravy and that I know can well be redressed! I loved the delicious interplay of the red chilli and the pepper and the distinct flavours of the buttermilk marinade and all simple flavours married within!!! Its food for fit for the kings…its as good as it gets.
1 Cauliflower cut in to medium sized florets.
1 Medium Onion chopped fine.
1 Ripe Vine Tomato chopped fine.
1 Cup buttermilk to marinate.
1 1/2 Tbsp of Ginger Paste + Garlic Paste. – Please use fresh ingredients.
Salt to taste.
1 Tsp Red Chilli Powder (Adjust depending on spice level)
1 Tsp Turmeric Powder.
2 Tbsp Dhania Powder.
1 Tsp Ground Pepper.
1 Inch Cinnamon.
8 Green Cardamom Pods roughly crushed.
1 Tsp Whole Pepper.
1 Tsp Hing.
Ingredients for Garnish:
1 Tsp Whole Black Pepper.
2 Tsp Garlic Flakes.
6-7 Torn Curry Leaves.
Bunch of Torn Coriander Leaves.
- Marinate the cauliflower florettes in the buttermilk and allow to sit until the sauce is prepared.
- In a kadai add 2 tsp oil and 2 spoons of butter and allow to melt.
- Add the seasonings – whole peppercorns, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom and stir until fragrant.
- Stir in the hing and immediately the onions and around 7-8 curry leaves.
- Add salt and crushed pepper powder and saute well until the onions turn pink and sweat and the curry leaves become transparent.
- Now stir in ginger and garlic paste and the dry powders – red chilli powder, turmeric powder and dhania powder and mix them all in.
- Now the ingredients in the kadai turn in to a beautiful orangeish amber and dance around with the spices already added.
- To this flavourful mix, add in t he chopped tomatoes and cook until the tomatoes turn soft.
- At this point, pour out the cauliflower marinade in to the kadai slowly and stir it in.
- You will watch the colours turning in to a beautiful golden yellow at this point.
- Close the kadai and keep on medium heat to cook the cauliflowers. At the same time, care should be taken that the buttermilk does not curdle.
- When you feel that the cauliflower has cooked enough open the lid and allow to simmer for a few more minutes.
- In a mortar, add the whole peppercorns, garlic flakes/garlic,a spoon of oil, curry leaves and cilantro and give it a rough mix.
- Add this to the kadai and close the lid and allow the flavours to marry. Garnish some more with chopped cilantro.
- Serve hot with fragrant Peas Pulav or Phulkas.
As a little girl, I always had a fascination with colors and shades, just like any little girl of my age. I remember going so crazy happy seeing my neighbours etch lovely rangolis and fill them up with all the colors of the rainbow. Every year, my school held competitions for Rangolis and we used to plan to fill up the rangolis with imaginative colors and fillers. There was once we mixed color rangoli powder with rock salt to give the rangolis an embossed finish. Another time we mixed it with white lentils and filled it up then realised by afternoon all the lentils had gotten swept away in the wind! I had seen my good friend using colors to decorate her cakes and I simply loved it when food colour drops spread all over butter icicing getting churned in the mixer bowl and goes round and round and meanders in to create lovely bright colored icing. I wanted to recreate colours in to a cake as layers right next to one another as this is how my little one wanted it! I tried to do this and was might pleased with the results., Next time I want to cover the cake in milky white icing so whoever cuts it, would love the colors inside!
2 Cups All Purpose Flour.
3/4 Stick of butter or 125 gms of butter (approx) at room temperature.
1 Heaped Cup Sugar.
2 Tsp Baking Powder.
1/2 Tsp Baking Soda.
1 1/4 Cup Milk.
1 Tsp Vanilla Extract.
Red Blue Green Yellow Food Colorings.
- Baking always states that we start with preparing the dry ingredients and keep them ready – So mix the all purpose flour, baking soda and baking powder in a bowl.
- Preheat the oven to 350F and grease a cake pan / tin with butter.
- In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs one after the other and beat them again till the batter is light – this should take a few minutes.
- Now alternately add the flour and the milk and make sure that the flour is added finally.
- This is done so, even if the batter turns out too thick, we could always add a little more milk.
- Now add the vanilla essence and mix it all in.
- I used a stand mixer to help with the mixing of the batter, but your hands would also do!
- Divide the batter in to 7 equal cups and set aside.
- Add drops of food coloring – I used the 4 food colours of Red, Blue, Green and Yellow to create purple, dark blue, turquoise, green, yellow, orange and red.
- In the end I had 7 cups of each of the rainbow colors and must say they made such a pretty sight!
- I layered them one after the other in a square baking pan and smoothed them to create a xylophone effect.
- Then pop them in to the baking pan and bake for 25-35 minutes depending on how long they take to get done in your oven.
- When a toothpick inserted in the cake, comes out clean without any sticky mess, then its time to pop out your cake and let it cool.
- The top would have browned a little, but cut it in to little slices and be amazed at the colors!!
- This cake can be modified for any occasion…Pink for a little girls`s party, Orange and Purple for a Halloween party, red and green for a Christmas party filled with little tuity fruity and nuts and raisins.
- This cake can also be made eggless substituting with other ingredients like Buttermilk, condensed milk, flaxseed powder, etc.