Popular TV chef Padma Lakshmi spices up your taste buds with her new cookbook, Tangy Tart Hot & Sweet. Recipes include Yellow Velvet Lentil Soup with Cumin and Dried Plums; Sautéed Cauliflower with Anise and Cashews; and Sautéed Calamari with Checca.
I love cauliflower, but I usually only have it on a crudités platter or in soup. In North India, in a dish called aloo gobi, it is made with potatoes and cumin. I've replaced the potatoes with cashews and the cumin with anise seeds; it's lighter without the potatoes, and the cashews give it a rich, nutty flavor that pairs well with the anise seeds. The long, dry red chilies give the dish a burst of red color that looks gorgeous on the plate.
1 Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. When it is hot, add the anise seeds and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes.
2 Roughly break up the chilies, add them to the anise seeds, and stir. After 5 minutes, add the shallots, ginger, and cauliflower. Add 1/2 cup of water and the salt, and stir. Cook for 10 minutes.
3 Stir in the cashews, and cook for an additional 10 minutes or so uncovered, until all the moisture is gone, stirring occasionally. The cauliflower will reduce greatly in size, and should have some charred or brown bits at the edges. The cashews should also be toasted brown. Serve hot.
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This page created November 2007
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