So this week was National Vegetarian Week which was sponsored by the lovely people at Dee’s Wholefoods who are based in the Real Capital. Which is Cork if you dont know. ( I have to say that…. I live with a Cork man – believe me it’s just easier.
Now I had great plans last weekend to post a blog with some of my favourite veggie recipes and my current ultimate favourite dish. However a serious dose of winter weather last Saturday and Sunday, followed by lashings and lashings of sunshine and intensive Vitamin D therapy on Monday (and the mini marathon*) meant that I delayed. Add to that my inability to read American date formats, my domain expired and had to be renewed. Picture lots of panic, annoyance and frustration. All aimed at myself of course – after all it was my mistake.The lovely people at Blacknight only emailed me about 10 times about the expiry – but sure I knew better.
But as you are all (hopefully) reading this, I managed to get it together and renew the domain. For another 3 years! Yay. (No pressure then)
I am over the moon that there is a vegetarian week and while it would have been nice to have my s&*t sufficiently together to post a recipe, surely better later than never is good. Right?
I am really not sure where this recipe came from. It is safe to say that it has evolved since I first made it. I have always loved a good dhal. Even when I ate meat, there was something so warming and comforting about a good one but I could never get it just right.
Now on the other hand, I haven’t always loved Cauliflower. A number of years spent working in hotels serving event and large carvery lunches, cauliflower was always the dish that had greyed, overcooked veggie and was drenched in nasty, oversalted cheese sauce.
This recipe changed my mind about the humble cauliflower. If you have any doubts at all about the it, I am sure that it will change your mind too.
This recipe serves 4 people & takes about an hour to make all told. It will however, store well in the fridge and tastes better the second day once all the spices have a chance to hang out, mingle and get it on.
You will need;
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 small cauliflower cut into florets
2 inch piece of ginger, finely chopped or grated
4-6 cloves of garlic, crushed
1.5 tsp cumin seeds
1 heaped teaspoon Turmeric
1 standard tin of chopped tomatoes
200g dried red lentils
salt & pepper to taste
half a litre water
Heat the oil in either a deep frying pan or a large saucepan or cast iron pot. I use my medium Le Crueset for this but have made it in a frying pan too.
Add the onion and fry on a medium heat until starting to colour and crisp. Stir while cooking to avoid it burning.
Once browned, add the cauliflower and cook for a couple of minutes. Next add the turmeric and cumin and stir gently ensuring that the spices are well distributed. Reduce the heat and add the ginger and garlic. Allow to cook for 3-4 minutes.
Next add your tomatoes and stir. Fill the empty can with water and add to the pan. Next add your dried lentils and stir again. Season gently and cover with a lid or tinfoil if using a frying pan.
Allow to simmer for about 15 minutes before checking and stirring gently. It may need more water at this stage & make sure you taste again for seasoning. Check the cauliflower to see if cooked properly.
Bear in mind the longer you leave this, the mushier it will go – with the cauliflower losing all shape.
Cover again and cook for a further 5 minutes.
Once cooked serve with warmed naan breads – my spelt naans from a couple weeks ago are perfect with this. Sprinkle with some chopped coriander and enjoy.
Like I said, this stores perfectly for up to 4 days in an airtight tub in the fridge.
*PS – Huge Congratulations to everyone who took part in the Flora Women’s Mini Marathon on the June Bank Holiday Monday. As Always it was a super day – weather wise as well as atmosphere wise. It was so hot that I am now sporting some rather attractive tan lines from my running top but a massive amount of money is raised for Irish Charities each year through this great event. Huge kudos to all the volunteers too & stewards who gave up their bank holiday & to all the supporters that lined the course too, thank you!