Monday, November 26, 2012

Cauliflower and Cumin Fritters

I assume everyone knows cauliflower is actually a flower (even in Chinese it has the same name).  It is a relative of broccoli which is also a flower.   I didn't really know this and didn't care because for a long time it was hard to forget how terrible the taste was of the cauliflower the canteen made when I was in Wuxi university (BTW it's a terrible university too).
The way my grandmother cooked cauliflower was in truth not much better than the canteen. So cauliflower in my memory is not an adorable veggie. 

Once I moved to the U.S. I started to see so many varieties of  cauliflower, like purple, green, and yellow colour in the market. I started to like them just for their appearance. And I remember once in our dear friend Pierre and Connie's house for dinner, they made cauliflower puree: I was really surprised by the flavour.

Later I found more delicious recipes for cauliflower

Here is one, which I guarantee you just can't resist (forget about the calories!) 

Cauliflower and Cumin Fritters with Lime Yogurt 
Adapted from Ottolenghi cookbook
serves 4


For the fritters:
1 small cauliflower (about 320g), trimmed and cut into small florets
120 g plain flour
3 tbsp chopped fresh coriander (cilantro), plus a few extra leaves to garnish
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 onion, finely chopped
1-2 medium chillies, seeds removed and chopped finely
4 free-range eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
oil for frying

For the Yogurt Sauce:
300g Greek yogurt
2tbsp finely chopped fresh coriander (cilantro)
grated zest of one lime
2tbsp of lime juice
2tbsp of olive oil
salt and pepper


For the yoghurt sauce combine the yoghurt, coriander, lime juice and zest and olive oil in a bowl and stir until well mixed. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

For the fritters put the cauliflower in a pan of boiling salted water and cook for about 15 minutes. You want it to go really soft so that it will fall apart when you add it to the batter later.

In a bowl whisk together the flour, coriander, garlic, shallots, chillies, eggs, cumin, cinnamon and tumeric until you have a well combined and smooth thick batter.

Once the cauliflower is cooked, drain it and add it to the batter. Stir with a fork until the florets have broken up into small pieces and everything is well combined.

Heat some olive oil in a large frying pan. Once hot spoon in the batter with a large serving spoon (about three tbsp per fritter).

My pan will hold about four fritters at a time.

Keep checking the temperature of the oil. You don't want it to get too hot, so that the fritters will burn.

Fry for around 3-4 minutes on each side, until golden.

Remove from the pan, allow to drain on some kitchen paper and serve with the yoghurt sauce and some salad or stuff them into a pita pocket.

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