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Spicy Baked Cauliflower Florets from Vegan Richa’s Indian Kitchen & Giveaway!

When you think of curry, how many of you think of that bright yellow powdered spice mixture, or a veggie or tofu dish made with it? Yeah? Me too. Or at least I did, until my first look through the newest addition to my cookbook collection, Vegan Richa’s Indian Kitchen. Then I learned that “curry” is actually a thin sauce, so calling something a curry refers to the sauce, not the specific flavors. Interesting, isn’t it? And that’s just one of the new pieces of information that I’ve picked up since getting the book.

Vegan Richas Indian Kitchen-Front-cover

By far, Indian food is one of my favorites. I’ve been to India several times, and have even taken some lessons to try to learn how to create that unique spicing of food that is so elusive for those who didn’t grow up with it. But now, with Richa’s new book, creating all of your vegan Indian favorites can easily be done!

The first thing you will notice when you pick it up is how incredibly beautiful it is. Richa does all her own photography and it’s spectacular. It features color photos of most of the recipes, with an easy-to-read format and everything clearly labeled for those with allergies, and everything is gluten-free or can be made so. It’s easily one of the most beautiful cookbooks I’ve seen.

And then the recipes – everything you’ll want to make is included, from dals and sambar to samosas and pakoras, chutneys and main dishes of all kinds. There is so much information, including the spices, ingredients and tools needed, as well as the specific techniques used to create the flavors. Richa brings you right into the world of Indian cooking.

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You can win a copy of Vegan Richa’s Indian Kitchen by leaving a comment below, telling why you’d like to win. Comment by next Sunday, June 14 and I’ll randomly choose one and announce the winner on Monday, June 15. Or you can purchase a copy here!

UPDATE:   And the winner is…. Natalie! Natalie, please send me your address or I’ll be in touch to get it. Congratulations!

And now for the star of our show ~

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Spicy Baked Cauliflower Florets (Gobi 65)

Prep: 20 minutes | Active: 20 minutes | Inactive: 30 minutes | Serves 4

There are a few fried cauliflower (gobi) appetizers offered in Indian restaurants. One of the most common ones is Gobi 65, a spicy fried cauliflower in a cornstarch and flour batter with curry leaves. This is a baked version of Gobi 65. You can also fry the cauliflower for a restaurant-style version. Serve alone or with a side of mint-cilantro or coconut chutney. To make these gluten-free, use 1/2 cup chickpea flour + 1/4 cup rice flour instead of un­bleached all-purpose flour. (Recipe from Vegan Richa’s Indian Kitchen Copyright © 2015 by Richa Hingle. Used by permission Vegan Heritage Press, LLC.)

BATTER:

  • 2 tablespoons chopped red onion
  • 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons unbleached white flour
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon Garam Masala
  • 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha sauce, chile garlic sauce, or other hot sauce
  • 1 (1-inch) knob of ginger
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 12 curry leaves (see note below)
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons safflower or other neutral oil

CAULIFLOWER:

  • Safflower oil spray, as needed
  • 4 1/2 cups small cauliflower florets

GARNISH:

  • 1 teaspoon safflower or other neutral oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced green or red bell pepper
  • 10 curry leaves, chopped (see note below)
  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Blend all the ingredients for the batter in a blender and blend until smooth and pasty. Transfer to a large bowl. If the batter is too thin, add 1 tablespoon flour, or more, and mix well.
  2. Add the cauliflower florets to the batter, toss to coat, and let marinate for at least 15 minutes. Mix to coat again. Place the florets on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and spray with oil.
  3. Bake for 20 minutes, then rotate the baking sheet. Bake until a toothpick passes through the cauliflower easily, about 15 minutes. The total baking time is 30 to 35 minutes.
  4. Make the garnish: Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic, onion, peppers, and curry leaves, and cook until the onion is golden, 7 to 9 minutes. Garnish the baked cauliflower with the onion mixture. Serve hot.

NOTE: Curry leaves, also called kadipatta, karivepallai, or sweet neem leaves, come from a subtropical tree native to India. The green midsized leaves are joined to a main stem and have a faint aroma that can be experienced while cooking. The leaves are highly valued as a seasoning in southern and west-coast Indian and Sri Lankan cooking and are usually fried along with the chopped onion in the first stage of the preparation. In their fresh form, they have a short shelf life and do not keep well in the refrigerator. You can freeze the fresh leaves very loosely packed in an airtight container for a few months. They are also available dried, though the aroma is largely inferior. You can add them to food whole or chopped. The curry leaves can be eaten along with the food or removed during eating. There is no good substitute for curry leaves. They can be purchased at an Indian market or online, but if you don’t have access to them you can omit them and use a bit of lemon zest instead.

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47 thoughts on “Spicy Baked Cauliflower Florets from Vegan Richa’s Indian Kitchen & Giveaway!”

  1. Thank you for this encouraging review of Richa’s book. I’m definitely a contender for your book prize. I too love Indian cooking, even when I get ‘inventive’ with traditional ideas. Last week, I made a samosa lettuce roll. Samosa filling using sweet potato with spicing from Anupy Singla, then rolled in a lettuce leaf instead of pastry. Is that called fusion?

  2. I would love to win this book because I have never tried Indian food,and this book would be a most welcome edition to my vegan library.

  3. I love Indian food. After doing a lot of research on health issues, I have discovered eating vegetarian is the way to go. It’s been a process for me but I’m getting there. Just by changing my food groups, I have lost 60 pounds and feel so much better. I need more veggie recipes though! Love the Indian spices! 🙂

    1. Congratulations, Patty Jo! That is a great accomplishment! There are lots of great recipes available, so hopefully it will be easy for you to continue your journey.

  4. I just came upon this book and I can’t wait to try out some of these recipes. My husbands last wife was Indian and I was too intimidated to try and cook Indian food as I love eating it but don’t know much about cooking it. The only time I cooked it for him he served the left overs to me then next day with a can of veg chilli mixed in with it. With this book I might actually succeed.

  5. I would love to win because I am a huge fan of vegan Richa website and love her recipes which are so tasty and adaptable for my extremely specific dietary limitations. Sadly finances keep me from purchasing the book or any non essentials but I would love to have it! Thanks for running the contest to give people a chance to win a copy who may have otherwise not been able to get one 🙂

  6. I have not made Indian food, alas, I don’t know how. This is a beautiful cookbook by Vegan Richa. Thanks for the review and giveaway.

  7. I would like the book because I already bought one and I want to give one to my friend, to spread the love.

  8. I love the food and cooking from all over India. There are some of the best examples of vegetarian and vegan cuisine in this style of cooking. The flavours are fresh, exciting and so appetising. I would love to own this cookbook.

  9. I would love to win this book – I have had it on my wish list for a while but it hasn’t fit into the budget yet. I have been following Vegan Richa for a while and loving the recipes – would love to add this cookbook to my collection!

  10. That looks amazing! I have made a few Indian dishes at home but would love to learn how to make more, this would obviously help.

  11. This looks delicious. Indian food is so tasty, I would love to learn to make more recipes.

  12. A great book for anyone interested in healthy, delicious and uncomplicated recipes. Thank you for the opportunity to possibly win a copy of Rich’s book.

  13. Thanks for offering Vegan Richa’s new cookbook! I’ve been following her blog for a long time and cooking some Indian dishes for even longer (been veg for 24 years). I usually get my books from the library because my budget doesn’t allow me to buy them. I would be so thrilled if my entry is drawn!

  14. I’d love to win a copy of the cookbook because 1.) I love Richa’s recipes, have made many from her website, 2.) Indian is my favorite cuisine, and 3.) I retired last year, got interested in cooking, and have since come to the point that I’m giving my wife a break by doing most of the cooking, I have enough free time to try every recipe in the book! 🙂

    1. I love that you’re doing the cooking now ~ you must have a happy wife 🙂 That would be a fun project to work your way through the recipes!

  15. I love Indian food and have long wanted to take cooking lessons from a native. The photos are stunningly beautiful, and the fact that the recipes are all vegan is a huge draw! I need more skills in this department.

  16. I would love to have this book. We eat vegan Indian food in restaurants all the time but I bet it would be better at home. I look forward to trying new recipes.

  17. I would love to add this book to my collection! Thank you for hosting this giveaway! Vegan Indian food is the best!

  18. I love Indian food. I’ve been in India twice and the country, the people, their food, etc. have made an enormous impression on me. I try to cook Indian meals sometimes, but I find it difficult to reproduce the exact taste with all their beautiful spices. I very much want to learn – so I hope I win this cookbook because I know it will be as terrific as is Richa’s website!

  19. I love vegan and Indian food and I am always looking to try new recipes. This book looks like it has so many wonderful dishes.

  20. Hope its not too late to enter. Have a shelf full of vegan cookbooks, but needing an indian cookbook. The book looks/sounds amazing. So prefer to indulge at home with book to gain wisdom and comfort from expert chef. JGD!

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