SMOKED TANDOORI-ROASTED CAULIFLOWER WITH GARLIC NAAN
SERVES 4-6 / PREPARATION 40 MINUTES (PLUS 1 HOUR PROVING TIME) / COOKING 1 HOUR
You could use a bought tandoori paste here, but I like to make a batch and use it for a couple of meals over a week or so. This is quite a mild paste – add more chilli if you want it a little fiery.
TANDOORI PASTE (MAKES ABOUT ¾ CUP) 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
2 teaspoons coriander seeds
1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon fennel seeds seeds from 4 cardamom pods
1 teaspoon sea salt
4 cloves garlic
5cm piece ginger, peeled
2 tablespoons tomato paste 1½ teaspoons ground turmeric ¼ teaspoon chilli flakes
1 teaspoon paprika sunflower oil to cover
In a dry pan, toast the cumin, coriander, mustard, peppercorns, cinnamon, fennel and cardamom for about 2-3 minutes or until fragrant. Crush with the salt in a mortar and pestle or in a grinder.
Transfer to a blender, add the garlic, ginger, tomato paste, turmeric, chilli flakes and paprika along with ¼-½ cup water to make a smooth paste. Put into a clean jar, cover with a little oil and refrigerate until required.
FOR THE CAULIFLOWER
1 whole cauliflower, outer leaves removed ¼ cup tandoori paste
½ cup thick Greek-style yoghurt 2 tablespoons lemon juice
Score a cross in the core of the cauliflower, then blanch in boiling salted water for 10 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water then drain well again.
Combine the tandoori paste, yoghurt and lemon juice and spread over the cauliflower. Ideally, leave to marinate for an hour or so in the fridge if you have time.
Light the barbecue and use some slow-burning charcoal so the heat is medium-low but even. Push the coals to either side of the barbecue so the heat is indirect. Soak 2 cups of woodchips (or use chunks) for 20 minutes, then drain.
Season the cauliflower generously with salt and place on a rack in the middle of the barbecue (you may want to put a foil tray in the bottom layer to catch any tandoori drips). Put the woodchips evenly over the charcoal, cover, leaving some vents open to allow some of the smoke to escape, and cook very slowly for 50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the cauliflower comes out easily.
Carefully remove and allow to cool slightly before serving with the garlic naan and tomato & onion raita (recipes follow). Stoke up the fire before cooking the breads (or use a grill or frying pan instead).
GARLIC NAAN (MAKES 12)
1 sachet (8g) instant yeast
1 teaspoon salt
125ml thick Greek-style yoghurt 2 tablespoons sunflower oil 3 tablespoons ghee or clarified butter 6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced 3 tablespoons chopped coriander
In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, yeast and salt. Add 200ml lukewarm water, the yoghurt and oil. Mix together to a soft dough – this will take about 5 minutes if you're using an electric mixer, 10 if kneading by hand. The dough should be smooth and elastic. Put into an oiled bowl, cover loosely with plastic wrap and leave to rise for around an hour or until doubled in size.
Meanwhile, gently heat the ghee in a small pan, add the garlic and cook until just beginning to colour. Remove from the heat, add the coriander and set aside until you’re ready to cook the breads.
Divide the dough into 12 pieces. Shape into rounds, then roll each piece on a floured bench into roughly 20cm circles. Heat the barbecue until quite hot, add the naan and cook until beginning to puff – about 1-2 minutes – then flip over and cook for another minute.
Remove from the barbecue, brush with the garlic ghee and wrap in a clean tea towel to keep warm. Continue until all the breads are cooked. Best eaten while still warm.
TOMATO & ONION RAITA
1 medium tomato, finely chopped 1 small red onion, finely chopped 1 green chilli, finely chopped ½ cup thick Greek-style yoghurt ¼ cup mint leaves, chopped ¼ cup coriander leaves, chopped 2 tablespoons lemon juice
Combine all the ingredients and season to taste.
Thanks to a spice-packed tandoori paste and a smoky barbecue, you’ll see the humble cauliflower in a whole new light.