Indian Spiced, Roasted Turmeric Potato with creamy Cauliflower Curry
In our family, if there's one cuisine that everybody can agree upon, it would be Indian. And with the huge variety of dishes from the many parts of India focussing on so many different flavours & textures, I could honestly say that if I had to pick one cuisine for 12 months, forsaking all others, it would be Indian.
There are lots of inherently vegan Indian recipes, and many more that are vegetarian. Because so many of the dishes focus on the flavour and texture of vegetables as hero, it isn't hard to easily transition the base recipes from vegetarian to vegan, or from meat to vegan. Coconut oil can be subbed for ghee, while stirring a few tablespoons of ground cashews into a tomato based curry will thicken it even more creamily than dairy cream will. (With no animals harmed, and no flavour lost.) Tofu makes a wonderful substitute for chicken and also for paneer, as it absorbs all the fragrant spices so happily.
In fact, even the non-vegan members of our family prefer these substitutions.
There are 2 dishes here - and while they go quite perfectly together, as a textural contrast of crispy and creamy, they are also very delicious on their own, or with other meals.
The spiced roasted potatoes are simply an adaptation of the popular fried spiced potato, fragrant with turmeric & mustard seeds, but this makes a nice change as the texture is more crispy, and because you can make it ahead, and simply leave it to roast in the oven while you get on with other parts of life.
Similarly, we bake the cauliflower & tofu curry in our Le Creuset casserole dish, as the heavy lid traps all the moisture inside, resulting in a very creamy moist curry, and allows the delicate tofu to remain in whole pieces You could of course cook this on the stove top, but you'd need to add the tofu towards the end so it doesn't break up.
This dish is such a family favourite that it appears on our menu quite often, with a few variations in the veggies depending on what's in season. There may be aubergine or zucchini in summer, or peas and french beans in winter. But there's always cauliflower involved, because who can resist a slow-cooked caramelised cauliflower dish? Especially if there's spices happening too.... And served alongside the crispy spiced potatoes, well let's just say it makes the kitchen smell irresitable.
Indian Spiced, Roasted Turmeric Potatoes
- 700 gm potatoes
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon ground turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon salt flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon dried chili flakes
- 1 teaspoon whole coriander seeds
- 1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon brown or yellow mustard seeds
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- Preheat oven to 170 degrees C.
- Scrub potatoes, but do not peel. Chop into bite size chunks and scatter in a baking tray.
- Sprinkle salt and spices onto potatoes, stir through crushed garlic and dollop coconut oil here and there on top.
- Place in hot oven for a few moments to melt the coconut oil.
- Remove from oven, stir to mix the coconut oil and spices through, and return to oven.
- Bake for approx 45 - 60 minutes depending on how crispy you like your potatoes.
- Serve with curry, or arranged on top of pureed spinach or mesclun leaves.
Creamy Cauliflower & Tofu Curry
- 1 teaspoon each sweet paprika, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, turmeric, fenugreek seeds
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- small knob of fresh ginger, finely chopped
- 1 cup red lentils
- 1 can chopped tomatoes, or 1 cup passata
- 1 can (400 mls) coconut milk or cream
- 1/2 cup coconut yoghurt
- 1/2 large or 1 small cauliflower with leaves attached
- 400 gm fresh, firm tofu
- 1/2 bunch fresh coriander leaves (cilantro) roughly chopped
- 2 cups baby spinach leaves
- 1 cup diced or sliced seasonal veggies: mushrooms, aubergine, zucchini, peas, etc.
- Preheat oven to 170 degrees C.
- Place lentils in saucepan with enough water to generously cover, and simmer with a lid on until cooked. (Approx 20 minutes.) Drain & set aside.
- Heat an oven friendly casserole style saucepan (or Le Creuset) over medium heat.
- Toast spices for a couple of minutes, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon so they don't burn. Remove spices and set aside to cool a little, then grind in a spice grinder and set aside.
- Melt coconut oil in same pan, and sauté onion, garlic and ginger until fragrant.
- Turn off heat & stir in drained lentils, tomatoes, coconut cream and yoghurt.
- Chop cauliflower & its leaves into small pieces, and add to mixture in pan.
- Drain tofu and cut into small dice. Add to pan, along with fresh coriander, spinach & seasonal veggies.
- Stir gently to mix.
- Place Le Creuset into oven and bake for up to 2 hours. (Longer, slower cooking time makes this dish sensational.)
- Serve on a bed of brown rice & fresh mesclun, with crispy spiced potatoes on the side.