Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Roasted Cauliflower with Paanch Phoron

Here is a Bengali spin on another handy-dandy roasted vegetable recipe. Traditionally paanch phoron is always quick sautéed in hot oil before you add vegetables to it. I turned things around and poured the sputtered spices over the cauliflower instead, and then enveloped them in the intense heat of the oven. While dry heat is, in general, antithetical to most Bengali cooking, in this instance, the ubiquitous duo of turmeric and paanch phoron created a magical alchemy with the sweetness of caramelised cauliflower.

1 head of Cauliflower (about 1½ lbs [750 gms] after the stalks and leaves are trimmed), washed and cut into small florets
1 tbsp Vegetable Oil
2 tbsp Paanch Phoron
1 tbsp Turmeric powder
2 tsp freshly ground Black Pepper
Sea Salt (to taste)
3 tbsp Olive Oil
  1. Pre-heat oven to 450º F (230ºC). Arrange cauliflower florets in one layer in a baking dish. 
  2. Heat vegetable oil in a skillet or frying pan over high heat. Add paanch phoron and let sputter for about 2 mins. Remove from heat and pour the spices and oil over the cauliflower. 
  3. Sprinkle cauliflower with turmeric, black pepper, and sea salt, drizzle with olive oil, and using your hands, toss well to mix. 
  4. Roast in the oven for 30 mins, then stir the florets with a large spoon to ensure that they caramelise evenly. Continue roasting for another 30 mins. Remove cauliflower from oven and serve immediately.

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