Curried Cauliflower with Simple Homemade Curry Powder
This post may show cauliflower, but it’s really all about the curry powder. First of all, curry powder isn’t one specific thing, it’s a blend of spices, so it can vary brand to brand. If you’re buying your curry powder from a market, then two things are happening. One, you are paying way too much and two; you are using something that is subpar to what you could be making at home. I too once fell into this category of purchasing convenient, overpriced, bland crap at a supermarket, mostly because I didn’t know any better. Ignorance was my excuse, but I am ignorant no more. Whole spices can be transformed into amazing powders that will take your culinary abilities to new levels and have you never looking back.
A spice/coffee grinder was one of the best purchases I ever made for my kitchen. Amazing spices and fresh ground coffee all in one item? Yes, please.
1 Tbs Cumin Seeds
1 Tbs Coriander Seeds
1 Tspn Mustard Seeds
2 Tspn Cardamom Seeds (not pods)
2 Dried Cayenne Chilies (optional, use more or less depending on heat preference)
2 Tbs Turmeric
1 Head Cauliflower
1/2 Cup Coriander chopped (Cilantro)
3 Tbs Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper
Like I said earlier, this post is really all about the curry powder. It takes about 30 seconds of explanation to dress and roast the cauliflower itself. This curry powder is a common mixture that you would find in most premade containers in a supermarket, but don’t think that all curry powders are only made of these spices. There are innumerable versions of curry powders from India, Pakistan, Southeast Asia and so on.
As far as finding these spices, most can be purchased in supermarkets or online even, but if you’re lucky enough to have an international food market near you, this is the place to go. You may be surprised at just how inexpensive spices will be in there, paying as little as a fourth of the price as most supermarkets. The first time I went in one, I think I walked the isles for 15 minutes without finding one item on my list before asking for help. If you’re being stared at, it’s not because you’re out of place in there, it’s because you look like a lost weirdo wandering their store. Ask for help and you will find that most will genuinely want to help you.
The only spice that needs work before toasting is the cardamom. If you buy the pods, which I suggest, you need to remove the seeds from them first. Hold the cardamom pod by the base and push the tip onto your counter. It should pop right open and allow you to easily pull the seeds out. Alternatively you could just buy the seeds, but the price is quite higher and certain recipes call for the whole pods.
Place all of the spices, except the turmeric, in a pan that is big enough to accommodate everything easily. You don’t want the chilies floating on top of the spices and not getting toasted. Put the pan over medium high heat and toss the spices every 20-30 seconds for about 3 minutes. You will be able to smell the spices quickly. When they begin to smoke, every so slightly, remove them from the heat. Add everything to a spice grinder with the turmeric and grind into a fine powder. Use a jar or sealable plastic bag for your new curry powder.
Preheat your oven to 400º.
Cut about 1lb of cauliflower into even sized florets and toss with 2-3 Tbs of olive oil, salt, pepper and 2 Tbs of curry powder. Roast for 15-20 minutes. Toss with the coriander and serve.