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
sunflower or olive oil for frying
1 medium head of cauliflower, stalk removed and broken into florets
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.