I had an entire host of recipes planned for this weekend, truly, seriously, really. Life had other plans, as we ended up without internet over the weekend. Before, I talk about the silver lining, let me tell you that I am not one bit happy about this, and yes Verizon I am talking to you! Not to mention the fact, that we supposedly recently upgraded our service. Now, that I am done with my ranting, the lack of internet and distractions actually led to an unplugged weekend and we had probably one of the prettiest weekends this year, to enjoy that distance.
Today’s recipe is a super simple one that I make all the time at home, with different variations – Roasted Potato and Cauliflower with Bengali spices. I was nudged to post this earlier this week by one of my facebook friends. While, the term facebook friends sounds trite, every once in a while I do find people that I connect with and share like minded thoughts with, yes, over facebook! I make this all the time, but when asked it did take me a little time to get my act together and actually write up the recipe, measure and test it, making me realize why all my recipes do not make their way into this blog.
They often remain facebook friends, because of location and a host of other factors we cannot meet in person, but, you end up counting on them to support your book ventures, offering a pick me up on a random day and of course chatting with you on a night you just cannot get yourself to sleep. Because different locations often come with different time zones, right? Onto, the dish on hand it is a simple rendition of the ever popular roasted cauliflower with seasonings that remind you a chorchori or a Bengali Seasoned Medley.
Now, at the risk of lecturing on an unrelated topic, I often hear of people talking about a typical chorchori, folks there really is no such thing. It is an everyday way of getting an assortment of vegetables and is totally at the discretion of the home cook. So, back to the dish on hand, I strongly encourage you to work with organic potatoes, as you will want to keep the skin on for the potatoes in this dish and they do roast up to lovely delicious crusty goodness and are a perfect foil to the delicate crisp cauliflower. The panchphoron (aka Bengali Five Spice Blend) is added a little later in the game, as I think the spices cook best that way! If you are pressed for time, go ahead and mix them all up, some of the bits might be just a little well done.
A variation to this spicing is also to substitute nigella seeds (kalo jire) instead of the panchphoron, and of course, you are welcome to keep playing with all the possibilities that your heart fancies, it is spring after all and the birds and bees and flowers are all out in their glory and it is a time for spontaneity both in and out of the kitchen.
A Bengali Spiced take of roasted cauliflower that is easy and delicious.
- 1 medium sized head of cauliflower, cut into medium sized pieces
- 3/4 pound of red skinned or other organic potatoes (halved or quartered, depending on the size)
- 2 tablespoons oil (mustard or EVOO)
- 1 red onion, thinly sliced
- 1/2 - 3/4 teaspoon turmeric
- Pink, regular or sea salt to taste
- 4 cloves garlic, sliced
- 1 teaspoon of panchphoron (Bengali Five Spice)
- Crushed Red Pepper Flakes or Cayenne to finish
- 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
- 1/2 lime (optional)
- Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees.
- In a mixing bowl, toss the oil, red onion, turmeric, salt and garlic and toss and mix well. Place the vegetable in a large casserole dish (I find this works better than a baking sheet, even though it is spread out in both cases)
- Bake for about 10 minutes, scatter with the panchphoron and bake for another 8-10 minutes. The vegetables should be crisp and fork tender.
- Sprinkle with red pepper flakes or cayenne and the cilantro. Squeeze in the lime juice if desired and serve hot.