Saturday, February 5, 2011
Cauliflower is nothing but cabbage with a college education.
entirely a creation of Chinese restaurants in India, and bears little resemblance to traditional Chinese cuisine. It is said to have been invented in 1975 by Nelson Wang; Wang described his invention process as starting from the basic ingredients of an Indian dish, namely chopped garlic, ginger, and green chilis, but next, instead of adding garam masala, he put in soy sauce instead."
~ 1 head cauliflower, cut into bite-size florets
~ 1/3 cup chickpea flour
~ 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
~ 1/3 cup corn starch
~ 1 tsp. garlic powder
~ 1/2 tsp. each: chili powder, cayenne pepper, freshly ground black pepper
~ 2 tbsp. soy sauce
~ 1/2 cup water
~ Canola oil for frying
~ In a bowl, sift together the flours and all the dry seasonings.
~ Add the soy sauce and water and mix to make a batter.
~ Cook the cauliflower pieces in salted, boiling water for about 3-4 minutes. Drain, rinse with cold water, then pat dry and set aside.
~ In a deep frying pan or wok, heat about 1 inch of oil over medium-high heat.
~ Working in batches, dip the cauliflower pieces in the batter, then fry until golden brown, about 4 to 5 minutes. As each batch is cooked, transfer it to a plate lined with paper towels to drain.
~ Now that all the cauliflower has been fried, you can make...
~ 1 tbsp. oil
~ 1 large onion, chopped fine
~ 1 heaping tbsp. each: minced garlic, freshly grated ginger
~ 3 tbsp. soy sauce
~ 2 tsp. hot sauce (or to taste)
~ 1/2 cup tomato paste
~ 2 tsp. toasted sesame oil
~ 1 cup water
~ Drain all but about a tablespoon of the oil from the wok, and sauté the onion over medium-high until soft, about 5-7 minutes.
~ Add the garlic and ginger, and cook another minute or two.
~ Stir in the soy sauce, hot sauce, tomato paste and sesame oil; combine thoroughly and cook for about a minute.
~ Gradually add the water, stirring constantly, and continue to simmer until the sauce is thickened, about 2 minutes. Taste for seasoning (you might want a little more hot sauce).
~ Return the fried cauliflower to the wok and stir into the sauce; cook another minute or two to make sure it's all coated and everything is hot. Serve immediately, as a first course, a side dish, or all on its beautiful own on a bed of fluffy rice; if you like, you can sprinkle on a little extra grated ginger and/or chopped cilantro for garnish.