Tag Archives: cauliflower

Tuna Laced Cauliflower Salad

Tuna Laced Cauliflower Salad

  • Servings: 1-2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Tuna Laced Cauliflower Salad







Cauliflower is one of those ubiquitous vegetables available all year round and yet I don’t eat enough of it.

Fish is another food I don’t eat as much as I should, specially the oily variety.

I had some tinned tuna lying around in my kitchen cupboard and I was wondering how to pair it up with cauliflower for a main course meal; this is the result.

If you want to try this salad and don’t have canned tuna, adopt my “anything goes” philosophy and use whichever fish you have. Prawns or crab would work just as well. If you are a vegetarian, skip the fish and throw in some cooked lentils instead.

A very lemony, garlicky dressing infuses the right amount of zing to this healthy and satisfying one pot meal.

an ideal mid-week supper dish

Can be enjoyed warm or at room temperature. Make it ahead of time and let the salad dressing flavours get infused into the vegetables for a truly delectable experience.

Ingredients for Salad

1 Small head cauliflower

100 Grams French beans

1 Medium carrot

10-12 Cherry tomato

1 Yellow Pepper

Small bunch spring onion

10-12 Fresh basil leaves

1 Small can tuna (drained weight 110 grams)

10-12 Black olives

Ingredients for Dressing

1 Large head garlic

1 Tablespoon mustard powder

1 Tablespoon cider vinegar

1-2 Tablespoons olive oil

Juice of 2 limes or lemons

1 Teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1-2 Teaspoons jaggery powder (or honey)

Salt to taste



  1. First, we need to prep the vegetables for salad. Remove tough stalks off the cauliflower. Retain tender leaves and stems. Break florets into medium size pieces with your hands. Roughly chop the heart if tender. Wash, drain and set aside.
  2. Scrape and wash the carrot. Slice into thick batons.
  3. Top and tail the french beans. Snap into half if very long else leave them whole. Wash, drain and set aside.
  4. Wash and halve the cherry tomato.
  5. Wash, de-core, de-seed and slice the yellow pepper.
  6. Wash and slice the spring onion (white part only).
  7. Pit the olives if they have stone in them.
  8. Drain the tuna.
  9. Wash and pat dry the basil and cauliflower leaves.
  10. Steam the cauliflower, carrot and french beans till just cooked. You want them to retain a bite. Use a timer. Once the steam water comes to boil, time for exactly 5 minutes and take off the heat. That should be sufficient.
  11. Cool the steamed cauliflower, carrot and french beans.
  12. Toss all the salad ingredients in a large bowl and set aside.
  13. Next, we make the dressing. Peel and grate the garlic.
  14. Juice the lime/lemon.
  15. Whisk together the garlic, cider vinegar, olive oil, lime/lemon juice, mustard powder, jaggery powder, freshly ground black pepper and salt to taste.
  16. Pour the dressing over the salad, mix well, cover tightly and let the flavours infuse.


  1. This is the first time I tried powdered jaggery in salad dressing and the result was a hint of smokey sweetness (I used organic jaggery). You can substitute jaggery with honey or a pinch of brown sugar.


Red Rice Flakes with Cauliflower & Green Pea

Red Rice Pohe with Cauliflower & Green Pea

  • Servings: 1-2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Red Rice Pohe with Cauliflower & Green Peas








Isn’t it amazing that you can eat a particular food all your life not knowing how it is made?

One of the many advantages of food blogging is the number of new things I learn on a regular basis.

When I sit down to write a post, I like to look up information about the dish or its key ingredients on the internet. Although most times this research is retrospective – after the meal has been cooked and consumed – it is still useful to know and share with fellow kooky cooks.

today’s recipe is one such example of new learning

Rice flakes are also known as flattened rice or beaten rice or pohe. For convenience’s sake, I will refer to them as pohe in this post.

Pohe is a staple across India and in Bangladesh and Nepal. It can be used in sweet and savoury dishes.

Till now, I had assumed that pohe was nothing but unprocessed rice which was beaten or flattened. Not so.

According to LiveStrong, “Rice flakes undergo more processing than any other type of rice. Processing begins by parboiling to partially cook the rice via steaming, followed by a process of rolling, flattening and finally, dehydration. The result is “rice” with a soft, mushy texture when cooked and a taste so mild it borders on bland.”

So pohe are processed after all which explains why they cook so fast. Have just experienced one of those “doh” moments!

Previously, I have posted an unconventional pohe recipe so today, I would like to share a traditional Maharashtrian one (except for my kooky addition of cauliflower and green pea) and also a simple trick to avoid lumpy pohe.

A friend told me that to ensure that your pohe doesn’t clump while cooking, put them dry in a colander, give the colander a good shake to rid the pohe of any floury bits, rinse them in the same colander and let them drain. I have been cooking my pohe this way ever since and each flake stays separate.

Today’s recipe was made using red rice pohe but you can use white or brown pohe or even try it with leftover boiled rice.

The list of ingredients may seem long but this is one of those quick cook meals.


1 Cup dry pohe

1/2 Cup green pea

1/2 Cup chopped cauliflower (including leaves and stalk if tender)

2 Onions

10-15 Fresh curry leaves

1 Cup fresh coriander

2-3 Green chillies

A piece of fresh ginger the size of your thumb

2 Tablespoons grated coconut

1 Teaspoon mustard seeds

1 Teaspoon cumin seeds

1 Teaspoon asafoetida

1 Teaspoon turmeric powder

2 Tablespoons raw peanuts

Juice of a lime or lemon

1 Tablespoon oil

Salt to taste


  1. Put the pohe in a colander. Give the colander a good shake and rinse the pohe under running water.
  2. Set aside and make sure there is enough space between the bottom of the colander and the kitchen platform for any excess water to drain away.
  3. Wash green pea and cauliflower.
  4. Peel, wash and finely chop the onion.
  5. Wash the curry leaves.
  6. Chop and wash the fresh coriander.
  7. Wash and finely slice the chilli.
  8. Peel, wash and grate the ginger.
  9. Heat oil in a wok-like pan.
  10. Lower the heat and add mustard seeds and once they start crackling, add cumin seeds.
  11. Next, add the asafoetida, peanuts and curry leaves.
  12. Stir for about a minute or so.
  13. Add the chopped onions, chilli and grated ginger.
  14. Sprinkle turmeric powder and salt to taste.
  15. Cover and cook on low flame for 5 to 7 minutes till the onion turns translucent.
  16. Add green pea, cauliflower and lemon juice.
  17. Once again, mix well, cover and cook for about 5 to 7 minutes. At the end of this cooking stage, you want the cauliflower a little undercooked. It should have some bite to it because it will be cooking a bit more once the pohe have been added.
  18. Next, add the pohe, coriander and coconut to the vegetable mixture.
  19. Mix well, cover and cook for about 8 to 10 minutes.
  20. Serve hot.


  1. You can adjust the quantity of green chilli and lemon juice according to personal preference.
  2. If you can’t get hold of fresh coconut, use dessicated coconut.

Velvety Cauliflower Soup

Velvety Cauliflower Soup









No cooking Christmas dinner for me this year as I am spending it with my friend Meher and her family.

As I am not going to be in the kitchen over the next couple of days, I wanted to use up a cauliflower head, some tomatoes, peas and sweetcorn kernels lying around.

Making a soup of them seemed like a good idea given my alternate-day-soup-diet and the imminent indulgences.

So ideally, this soup should be called whatever’s- in-my-refrigerator soup!

English: cauliflower
English: cauliflower (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Using cauliflower as the base, I think this recipe would work just as well with addition of some chopped carrots, french beans or mushrooms or even cooked chicken, bacon or fish. In other words, anything that needs to be used up can be thrown into the pot.

another creamy soup sans any cream

Paired with some crusty bread, this is a complete meal.


1 Head of cauliflower

2 Onions

1 Head of garlic

2 Tomatoes

2 Tablespoons peas

2 Tablespoons sweetcorn kernel

1 Beef stock cube*

1 Tablespoon olive oil

Salt to taste


  1. First, we need to prepare the cauliflower base. Roughly chop and wash the cauliflower. Include the stalk, leafy stems and the white woody bits at the base (if tender and fresh).
  2. Now, place the cauliflower in a pot along with 2 cups of water, stock cube and a pinch of salt.
  3. Bring to boil, cover, lower the heat and let it cook for 10 minutes.
  4. When it is cooked, drain the cauliflower and reserve the liquid.
  5. Once cool, puree the cauliflower in a blender or food processor and add it to the reserved liquid.
  6. Wash and chop the onions.
  7. Peel and chop the garlic.
  8. Wash and dice the tomatoes.
  9. Wash the peas and sweetcorn kernels.
  10. Heat oil in a soup pot (or equivalent).
  11. Add the chopped onions and garlic and a pinch of salt and cook for a couple of minutes.
  12. Next, add the tomatoes, peas and sweetcorn kernels, cover and cook on a low heat for about 10 minutes.
  13. Add the pureed cauliflower and reserved liquid, stir well, cover and cook for further 10 minutes.
  14. Serve hot.


  1. I used beef stock which gave this soup a really nice depth. Beef and cauliflower seem compatible. You can use chicken or vegetable stock cube instead, if you prefer.


Fat Free Four ‘C’s Soup

Fat Free Four 'C's Soup









Firstly, some good news for my kooky readers. Since embarking on the alternate-day-soup regime inspired by my friend Fatima’s soup recipe 12 days back, I have lost 1.5 kgs (3.3 lbs).

Before that, I had hit a frustrating weight loss plateau and was finding it really difficult to lose those last few kilos. So, imagine my pleasant surprise when the weighing scale started moving in the right direction once again!

The best part is that I am really enjoying experimenting with different soup recipes and actually look forward to my soup dinners. I never imagined that they could be so much fun. Soups and broths are my new best friends and likely to become long term companions.

If you are looking to shift a few pounds, you may like to join me in my alternate day soup diet. Now may not be the right time with all the festive partying (although I am doing it in reverse order, lose weight now in anticipation of Christmas and New Year indulgences). But maybe after the New Year, once the celebrations are over?! (Note: I am not a doctor; always seek advice from a medical professional before attempting to lose weight.)

Coming to today’s recipe, Cauliflower, Cabbage, Carrots and Chickpeas form the team of four ‘C’s to provide a totally yummylicious soupy experience.

don’t go by looks – what this soup lacks in appearance, it more than makes up in terms of  taste and full bodied flavour

This cauliflower, cabbage, carrot and chickpea soup (what a mouthful!) does require a bit of preparation beforehand in terms of soaking the chickpeas and “moisturising” the onions. I wanted to add onions for texture and flavour but didn’t want to use any oil so I used salt to moisturise them for a few hours and let them sweat in their own juices. Was pleasantly surprised to see how meltingly soft they turned.

Allspice powder provides the hint of spice and fragrance needed to combat the smell of onions, cabbage and cauliflower.


2-3 Tablespoons dry chickpeas*

2 Cups water

2 Onions

Half head of small cabbage

1 small cauliflower

2 Carrots

A generous pinch of powdered allspice*

One vegetable stock cube

Freshly pounded blackpepper

Salt to taste


  1. Wash and soak chickpeas about 8 to 10 hours before you want to make the soup.*
  2. Wash and slice the onions. Add some salt, mix, cover and set aside for 3 to 4 hours before you want to make the soup.
  3. Boil the cabbage and cauliflower, puree and set aside. If you have any water remaining after boiling the vegetables, keep it.
  4. When you are ready to make the soup, transfer the onions and any moisture clinging to them into a soup pot (or equivalent).
  5. Now, place the pot on a burner and turn on the heat to low.
  6. Cover and let the onions cook in their own juices for about 10 minutes till they become soft.
  7. While the onions are cooking, wash and coarsely grate the carrots.
  8. Uncover the soup pot and add water (or water from boiled cabbage and cauliflower) along with the chickpeas, stock cube, allspice powder and pounded peppercorns. Turn the heat to high.
  9. Once the water starts boiling, add the grated carrots, cover and let this simmer for about 45 minutes till the chickpeas are cooked.
  10. Lastly, add the pureed cauliflower and cabbage. Check for salt and water and add more if either seem insufficient.
  11. Bring to boil and let the soup simmer for about 10 minutes.
  12. Serve hot.


  1. You can use canned chickpea if you prefer in which case reduce the cooking time from 45 minutes to about 10 minutes. However, if you have time, I would strongly recommend that you go down the soaking and boiling route. Chickpeas cooked in vegetable stock and allspice are more flavoursome.
  2. If, like me, you forget to soak the chickpeas 8 hours before hand, use this time saving method to speed up the soaking process (it’s what I did this time).
  3. If you don’t have allspice powder, no problem. Use some grated nutmeg and cinnamon powder instead.

Here’s step-by-step pictorial of how I cooked this cauliflower, cabbage, carrot and chickpea soup.

Step 1: Onions moisturised with salt

Fat Free Four 'C's Soup - Step 1 Onions moisturised









Step 2: Onions sweating in own moisture over stove on low heat

Fat Free Four 'C's Soup - Step 2 Onions sweating in own moisture









Step 3: Add chickpeas and water along with stock cube, allspice powder and pounded peppercorns

Fat Free Four 'C's Soup - Step 3 Add chickpeas and water









Step 4: Add carrots

Fat Free Four 'C's Soup - Step 4 Add carrots









Step 5: Let chickpeas cook

Fat Free Four 'C's Soup - Step 5 Let chickpeas cook









Step 6: Add pureed cabbage and cauliflower

Fat Free Four 'C's Soup - Step 6 Add cabbage cauliflower puree

Cauliflower & Carrot Pancake

Cauliflower & Carrot Pancake









To be perfectly honest, I was in two minds as to whether to post this recipe. I mean, it is not the prettiest looking pancake on the block, is it?! But then I reckoned that since my blog readers don’t judge a book by its cover, they may be interested in it ;-).

Maybe the fact that this is a “rescue” recipe accounts (a wee bit?) for its appearance. By rescue I mean that I had started off with one goal but circumstances led me down another path!

My original idea was to let dough made of wheat flour ferment for 24 hours and use this as a base for a savoury pancake. After all, fermented food is good for you. Unfortunately – given the current cool climate – the fermentation process didn’t happen as I had planned. Or it may have after a couple of days but I didn’t have the patience.

this is where the “rescue” part of the recipe enters the picture

I added some yoghurt and let the batter sit for 4-5 hours to get that right level of piquancy.

Fortunately, the end result was surprisingly delicious. A lesson in not to judge a book by its cover!

The following makes 2 pancakes.


3/4 Cup wheat flour

2 Tablespoons ragi flour

2 Tablespoons quick cooking oats

Head of half a cauliflower (along with stem and leaves if fresh)

Two carrots

250 Grams plain yoghurt

2 Onions

2-3 Green chillies

One tablespoon minced ginger

1 Teaspoon turmeric powder

One tablespoon oil

Salt to taste


  1. First, we need to make the dough. For this, take the wheat flour, add water and make a soft dough. To check if it is soft enough, press your fingers on it. If you see deep depressions, you know it is the right softness.
  2. Cover and place it in a warm, dark place for 24 hours.
  3. After this time, if the dough is fermented, it should rise and you will see it break apart a bit.
  4. Now, we need to prep the batter.
  5. Finely grate the carrots.
  6. Put the cauliflower (along with stem and leaves, if using) in a food process and mince finely.
  7. Finely chop the onions.
  8. Finely chop the green chillies.
  9. Whisk the yoghurt and add some water to it. Now add this yoghurt-water mixture to the dough and make a paste. You may need to use your hand for this if it doesn’t mix well with a spoon.
  10. Make sure the batter is a bit runny.
  11. Now – to the batter- add the cauliflower, carrots, onions, chillies, ginger, ragi flour, oats and salt to taste.
  12. Give it a good stir and let it sit for 4-5 hours.
  13. When you are ready to cook the pancakes, heat a non-stick frying pan (with a lid).
  14. Once the pan is hot, pour a cup full of batter in the centre of the pan. You will notice that the batter spreads around the pan by itself. Drizzle a bit of oil around the edges.
  15. Lower the flame and cover with the lid. Let it cook for 20 minutes.
  16. After the given time, uncover and loosen the pancake with a spatula. If it comes off the base easily, you know that the under side is done. If not, cover and cook for a few more minutes.
  17. Once cooked, flip over and cook the other side (uncovered) for 10-15 minutes.
  18. Remove to a plate and do the same with the remaining batter.


  1. Since the batter is a bit runny, the pancake will turn out thin (more like a crepe as you can see below).
  2. The pancake is very delicate so flip over very carefully.
  3. You can substitute carrots with another vegetable like grated cabbage, courgette or horseradish.
  4. You can use broccoli instead of cauliflower.
  5. If the dough ferments well, you can omit the yoghurt.

Cooking Cauliflower and Carrot Pancake








Mixed Cereal and Cauliflower Paniyaram/Mixed Cereal and Cauliflower Aebleskiver

Cooked Paniyaram

Paniyaram is a type of dumpling popular in South India. It is usually made with idli or dosa batter of lentils and rice and can be made savoury or sweet.

Paniyaram is made in a special paniyaram pan with holes in which the batter is poured.

Paniyaram Cooking

Interestingly, the Danes also have a similar dish called aebleskiver, a type of sweet pancake made in a special pan with round dents.

English: This is the top side of my Griswold A...
English: This is the top side of my Griswold Aebleskiver pan (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

These cute dumplings are a recent discovery of mine after I was given a paniyaram pan by my beloved members on our annual meetup in scenic Kerala. I have had lots of fun experimenting with conventional and unconventional recipes.

most of my recipes have been savoury although I did try the sweet Danish version by adapting this recipe

In this post, I want to share with you one of my more unconventional paniyaram recipes. You can also think of them as savoury aebleskiver!


1 cup mixed cereal of your choice (I used a combination of black eyed beans, chickpeas, black bengal gram/desi chana, fenugreek, whole wheat, brown rice and pearl millet/bajra)


2-3 tablespoons chickpea flour and/or rice flour and/or semolina (optional but I find that it gives some texture)

Half head of cauliflower

2 tomatoes

2 onions

A spoonful of minced ginger and green chillies (or according to taste)

1 teaspoon turmeric

Salt to taste

1 tablspoon oil


  1. Soak the mixed cereal for 10-12 hours.
  2. Grind the cereal with water very finely, making sure it is of pouring consistency.
  3. Leave the batter to ferment in a warm place for 8-10 hours. (If you want to skip this step, please see Tips below.)
  4. Finely chop the cauliflower, tomatoes and onions. Holes in the paniyaram pan are small so you want to make sure that the vegetables are very finely chopped. If you have a manual or an electric chopper, you can use that instead of a knife.
  5. When ready to cook, put the paniyaram pan on high heat.
  6. Mix the batter with the remaining ingredients.
  7. Reduce the heat to minimum and pour the batter in the holes using a spoon.
  8. Add a drop of oil on each paniyaram.
  9. Cover and cook on minimum heat for 10 minutes.
  10. Flip over, leave it open and cook for further 10 minutes.
  11. Once cooked, they will come out loosely from the holes. Serve with some hot sauce like the extra hot Tobasco.


  1. If you don’t have time or the right climate to ferment the batter, use it as is. Just add a pinch of bicarbonate of soda (Eno).
  2. Fenugreek seeds are optional. I add them since, apart from being good for health, they aid the fermentation process.
  3. Please don’t use kidney beans as part of your mixed cereal combination since they contain a toxic agent called lectin. As a result, they have to be cooked before being used in any recipe.
  4. Even if you don’t have paniyaram pan, you can try out this recipe. Simply make pancakes instead

paniyaram batter is very forgiving; if it is too thin or insufficient you can add semolina or any other flour like ragi flour

in case you have left over batter, refrigerate it and use it the next day to make more paniyarams or dosa like pancakes