Recipes from Chef Suvir Saran’s Masala Farm
From day one at my restaurant in New York City, Manchurian Cauliflower has been a huge success. It’s sweet and spicy, tender and satiny, and looks as sultry and seductive as a cauliflower could ever hope to become. In the restaurant, we fry the cauliflower, toss it with the sauce, and finish it in the oven. Here I’ve simplified and lightened the recipe by roasting the cauliflower and tossing it with sauce midway through baking. Healthier, easier and more accessible, you could make a double batch of this recipe and still never have leftovers!
3 tbsps neutral-flavoured oil (like canola or grapeseed)
3 green cardamom pods
3 dried red chillies (optional)
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp whole peppercorns
2 1/2- to 3-lb/1.2- to 1.4-kg head cauliflower, cored and broken into medium florets
1 tsp kosher salt
For the sauce
2 tbsps neutral-flavoured oil (like canola or grapeseed)
1/2 tsp freshly ground black peppercorns
8 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups/360 ml ketchup/tomato sauce
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp kosher salt
Preheat your oven to 425°F/220°C/gas 7. Grease a 9-by-11-inch/23-by-27-cm baking dish with one and a half tablespoon of the oil and set aside.
Grind the cardamom, chillies (if using), coriander, cumin, and peppercorns in a coffee grinder or small food processor until fine. Mix the spices with the remaining one and a half tablespoon of the oil in a large bowl. Add the cauliflower, sprinkle with salt, and toss to coat. Transfer the vegetables to a baking dish and roast for 20 minutes.
While the cauliflower roasts, make the sauce. Heat the oil and pepper in a large frying pan over medium-high heat for one minute. Add the garlic and cook until it is fragrant, about one minute, stirring often. Add the ketchup/tomato sauce and cook for two minutes, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to medium and add the cayenne pepper and salt. Cook until the ketchup/tomato sauce thickens and becomes deep red in colour, stirring occasionally, six to eight minutes.
Once the cauliflower has roasted for 20 minutes, add the sauce to the pan and stir to evenly coat the cauliflower. Continue roasting until the cauliflower is tender, another 20 to 30 minutes, stirring midway through, and serve.