A couple of weeks ago, I came across this recipe on Ohmyveggies.com (probably the best vegetarian food website on the planet) for Tandoori Cauliflower. In this recipe, they marinated an entire cauliflower head with spiced yoghurt and just shoved the whole lot in the oven.
I thought I was going to die from insanity when I read that. How come I had never thought of doing something like that myself??? After I saw that one recipe, I was unable to focus on anything else. All I could think of was cauliflower and tandoori. (This, again, proves that I am 100% food obsessed.)
So I decided to put my mind at ease and try it out. Although shoving an entire cauliflower in the oven did sound tempting, I thought it would be more flavoursome to cut large “steaks” from the cauliflower and marinade those in tandoori paste. That way, the lovely spicy yoghurt could really infuse the cauliflower’s flesh, whereas keeping the cauliflower whole would have resulted in a more mellow tandoori flavour.
As you all know, “mellow” is not really my style. I want BOOM! Hence, the cauliflower steaks. (But if you want to try the whole cauliflower, be my guest!)
Needless to say, that was the most brilliant cauliflower I had ever tasted! It was spicy, zingy and fragrant and roasting the cauliflower in the oven gave it a slightly nutty flavour, which I absolutely adored. I served this yummy cauliflower with spiced red quinoa and finished the dish with Thai basil.
Seriously, people. If you don’t make this dish, you are absolutely CA-RAZY!
After that marvelous cauliflower dish, I became completely obsessed with the tandoori-vegetable combination. I had a food epiphany. Suddenly it dawned on me that I could use practically every type of vegetable, marinade it in spicy yoghurt, and end up with the most insane-tasting plate of food on the planet. It was a true revelation!
Next on my list was the humble aubergine. Since I wanted to give this dish a Middle Eastern vibe, I changed the tandoori yoghurt and simplified it to a yoghurt flavoured with turmeric, cumin, garlic and lots of harissa. The foodies among you will know that our friend Mr. Aubergine is like a sponge: it absorbs everything. So can you imagine how brilliant these slices of aubergine tasted? I served these flavour explosions with a bejeweled, spicy and sweet couscous and felt like a true Sheherazade in her wonder palace…
As you can see/hear/read, I am completely and utterly in love with vegetables, tandoori-style. Or tandoori, veggie-style. Whatever you want to call it. It is flipping delicious. You may think I’m going insane, but just give it go, dear readers. And be warned, once you’ve tried this, you will never be able to stop thinking about it!
Cauliflower Tandoori with Red Quinoa
Ingredients (serves 1)
For the cauliflower tandoori:
- one 1,5cm -2cm slice of cauliflower
- 100gr Greek yoghurt
- 1 tsp garam masala
- ½ tsp ground coriander
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp turmeric
- ½ tsp chili powder
- 1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 lime
- ½ tsp salt
For the red quinoa:
- 100gr red quinoa
- 2 spring onions, finely chopped
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 1 red chili, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp red tandoori powder
- 1 tbsp fresh coriander
- 2 tbsp fresh Thai basil (plus more for garnish)
- Preheat the oven to 220°C. Mix the spices into the yoghurt and add a good squeeze of lime juice.
- Put the cauliflower steak on a baking tray with baking parchment and spread a generous layer of spiced yoghurt on top of the steak. Put in the oven for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, flip the steak over and now spread a generous amount of yoghurt on the other side. Put back into the oven for 20 minutes. The cauliflower should be tender but still a little bit al dente.
- Meanwhile, make the red quinoa. Heat the red quinoa together with twice the amount of water in a small pan and bring to the boil. Add the tandoori and garlic and let the quinoa soak up all the liquid until tender. Season with salt and pepper and stir through the herbs, onion and chili. Serve alongside the cauliflower. (You can use the leftover tandoori yoghurt as a delicious sauce to go on the side, superb!)
Aubergine Tandoori with bejeweled couscous
Ingredients (serves 1)
For the aubergine:
- One aubergine, cut into 0,5cm slices
- 100gr yoghurt
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp harissa
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1 tsp cumin
For the couscous
- 100gr couscous
- 1 tbsp turmeric
- 1 red onion, finely sliced
- Handful of dried cranberries
- 1 tbsp honey
- Pinch of chili flakes
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- Fresh coriander
- Preheat the oven to 220°C. Make the yoghurt mix. Put the slices of aubergine on a baking tray and spread a good layer of yoghurt onto each slice. Put in the oven for 15 minutes. Take of the oven, flip the slices over and spread yoghurt on the other side. Put back in the oven for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the couscous. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a pan and sauté the red onions and garlic. Add the spices and honey and now stir in the couscous. Add water (approx. 2,5dl) and bring to the boil. Stir in the cranberries. Cook on low to medium heat until the couscous has absorbed all the liquid. To finish, stir through lots of coriander.