My lovely friend Dave was telling me recently how yummy cauliflower ‘rice’ is (basically cauliflower shredded, or whizzed in the food processor to make faux ‘rice’ – a less carby alternative). I was sceptical, but then my buddy Laura told me she loves it too and that she stir fries hers and makes it loads. Inspired, I thought I’d better give it a go. I know curry isn’t much of a summer staple, but it’s a great Friday night takeaway avoidance technique when the weather’s not that balmy.
I also need to give you an update on my favourite lentil curry recipe, so it seemed like a good time to try them both. It turned out really well and I urge you to give it a go – I’ve been making – and tweaking – this curry for years and I think it’s pretty yummy (even though I say so myself). Also, don’t be alarmed at the list of ingredients. Once you’ve got them in your spice cupboard, all these jars last for ages. I have them all together in a tin and just whip them out whenever I’m cooking with spices.
You will need:
2 tbsp rapeseed oil
1 red onion, sliced
1 tsp salt
2 chicken breasts, cubed (or leftover roast chicken)
1 red chilli, sliced, or 1 tsp hot chilli powder
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp grated ginger (I keep mine in the freezer)
1 tin coconut milk + same amount water
200g red lentils
For the cauliflower ‘rice’:
1 tbsp rapeseed oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
Salt and pepper
To garnish: fresh coriander
Firstly, make sure you’ve got all the spices measured out and ready to go.
Next, using a heavy based pan (with a lid), heat up the oil and pop in the onions. Sprinkle with salt and fry them gently until softened. If you’re using raw chicken, chuck that in now as well (if you have cooked leftovers, you can just add them in ten minutes before the end of the cooking time)
Add in all the spices and stir everything around for a minute. It gets very dry, but don’t worry. Add in the coconut milk, then fill up the empty tin with water and pour that in too. If you don’t like coconut milk, just use chicken stock.
Stir in the lentils, then bring it up to a bubble before turning it down, popping on the lid and leaving for 20 minutes.
In the meantime, shred, grate or whizz the cauliflower (my kitchen was COVERED in the stuff) into a roughly ricey consistency. I stir fried mine in a little oil with a teaspoon of cumin seeds and a bit of salt and pepper. Laura recommends doing it until it starts to catch – about five minutes by my estimation. Dave likes to steam his in the microwave for about 6 minutes with the cumin. I’ll be trying this next.
I was really impressed. It’s delicious and surprisingly filling. Give it a go – I’d love to know what you think.