Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Tandoori Tofu, Chana Masala, Pistachio and Currant Biryani, Cauliflower and Scallions with Black Mustard Seeds

Dinner 05/22

Tandoori Tofu

Chana Masala

Pistachio and Currant Biryani

Cauliflower and Scallions with Black Mustard Seeds

A weeknight Indian mini-feast, with brightly colored tandoori tofu, tangy chana masala and a base of fragrant basmati rice with the addition of pistachio nuts and currants.

The cauliflower dish comes from Julie Sahni's "Classic Indian Cooking" -- we adapted it slightly by adding cut green beans at the same time as the scallions.

1 small head cauliflower
2 bunches of scallions
1/2 cup green beans, trimmed and cut into 1" pieces (optional)
3 tbs. vegetable oil
1/2 tsp. black or brown mustard seeds
1/2 tsp. turmeric
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp. smoked sea salt (to taste)

1/3 cup hot water

Separate cauliflower into very small florets (about 1/2") wash in cold water & drain.

Trim the root ends of the scallions and chop them (including the green part) into 1/4" pieces.

Measure out the spices and place them, the vegetables, and 1/3 cup hot water right next to the stove

Heat 3 Tbs. of the oil over high heat in a large frying pan or wok. When the oil is very hot, carefully add the mustard seeds. Keep a lid handy because the seeds may splutter when added. When the mustard seeds turn grey (about 3 minutes) add turmeric, chilies and salt, stirring rapidly.

Add the cauliflower. Stir to distribute the spices and add the hot water. Reduce heat to medium low and cook, covered, until the cauliflower is cooked to crispy-tender (15-20 minutes).

Uncover, increase heat to medium, add scallions and green beans (if using) and stir fry to evaporate any moisture remaining in the pan and to lightly brown the cauliflower and cook the scallions (about 5-10 minutes).

Check for salt, serve immediately.

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