moro top ten: fried spiced cauliflower

“this dish is delicious, easy and versatile and goes with almost any moorish meat or fish dish”

from moro east, this was  a bit of a risky venture as david doesn’t really like cauliflower. however, it looks like a simple dish and i thought the cauliflower flavour would probably be fairly well-disguised by the spices and optional lemon juice. i also served it alongside a roast chicken to help distract from the cauliflower!

so, how did i get on?

it’s an easy dish and as long as you’re careful with the deep frying, quite simple to pull together. keeping the cauliflower warm was not so easy though – a dish in a warm oven would probably have helped although, in the end, i don’t think it mattered that we ate it at room temperature. it was also slightly less pop-corn like than i’d hoped – the cauliflower gets cooked but doesn’t really go crispy.

the final verdict:

would i have tried this recipe if it hadn't been part of the moro top ten? no - there are too many other, more interesting-looking, recipes.

would i try this recipe again in the future? no – david actually enjoyed this more than i did, despite his general wariness of cauliflower but it’s off my list as it’s just not very interesting and i didn’t think the spices lifted the dish enough. i should probably stick to an actual popcorn version.

moro’s fried spiced cauliflower (serves 4)

1 teaspoon coriander seeds

½ teaspoon cumin seeds

¼ teaspoon fennel seeds

8 peppercorns

sunflower or olive oil for frying

1 medium head of cauliflower, stalk removed and broken into florets

sea salt

lemon wedges, to serve

grind the coriander, cumin and fennel seeds with the peppercorns (i toasted mine first, in a  dry frying pan, to enhance their flavour) in a mortar and pestle then set aside.

pour in 1cm depth of oil into a saucepan over medium to high heat. when hot add the cauliflower and fry on all sides until tender and slightly golden – beware as the oil is likely to spit (half-cover the pan with a lid if it gets bad). remove the cooked cauliflower with a slotted spoon and drain well on kitchen paper and season to taste with salt.

mix the spices with a little salt and scatter half the mixture over the cauliflower. serve with lemon wedges on the side and the remaining spice in a small bowl for people to dunk their florets in, if they wish.