This Indian cauliflower balls are just too spiffy. They’re flavorful with a crisp outside and a soft inside. The fact that there’s two sauces involved just boost things even more and takes it up a notch or two. I love sauces!! It just makes every meal better. In this dish I’m serving up a spicy tikka masala kind of sauce and a cooling cucumber and mint raita. Gosh it’s tasty! And… having both sauces is mandatory! The more the merrier!
I cook Indian food quite often because I like the complex flavors. It doesn’t necessary have to be hot but it’s always flavorful. Garlic, ginger, cumin, turmeric, chili, mace, fenugreek, cardamom… You can really create magic out of these spices. Another great thing with Indian food is that it easily can be adapted into a vegetarian lifestyle which is of great importance to me – simply because I love vegetarian food. The ingredients that goes into Indian food will often be sold to bargain prices and that’s always pleasant. Super flavorful, healthy and cheap; I mean do you need any more reasons to cook this dish?
If you’re feeling fancy you can always bake your own naan to go alongside the cauliflower balls. But sometimes you just don’t have the time and energy to bake and for those occasions store bought is just fine or why not just some Basmati rice. Last time I cooked these cauliflower balls I went to our local Indian restaurant and bought fresh naans directly out of the oven. Oh so nice! The restaurant owner looked at me, a bit suspicious, as if I were dumb; was I only supposed to order two naans? Yep! That’s me 😉
Indian Cauliflower Balls, Spicy Tikka Masala Sauce and Minted Cucumber Raita – Serves 6/30 Balls
This Indian dish is pure satisfaction. With lots of tasty sauces, flavorful veggies and warm bread you can’t go wrong. In the end of the description I’m giving a quick tip on how to spice up your naans if you want to take them to the next level.
750 g cauliflower (1 medium sized)
4 garlic cloves
1 red chili
1 tbsp. gara masala
1 tbsp. whole cumin
1 ½ tsp salt
85 g chickpea flour
Tikka Masala Sauce
150 g yellow onion (1 piece)
2 garlic cloves
30 g fresh ginger (1 thumb sized piece)
½ tsp chili flakes
2 tsp gara masala
2 tsp whole cumin
2 tsp whole coriander seeds
12 g runny honey (about 2 tsp)
500 g crushed tomatoes (1 can)
100 g cream (1 dl)
500 g Greek style yoghurt (1 small package)
200 g cucumber (½ piece)
1 garlic clove
12 g fresh mint leafs (1 small handful)
Naan and/or rice
Roasted slivered almonds
The leafs from the cauliflower
Balls. Grate or finely chop the cauliflower (use both the stalk and the florets) so you end up with something that looks similar to rice. Bring a skillet up to high heat and add a glug of neutral oil. Fry the cauliflower rice until most of the moisture has evaporated and the cauliflower has taken on a light golden color. Finley chop garlic and chili (remove the seeds and the white inner membrane) and grind the whole cumin in a pestle of mortar or an spice grinder. Add all the spices to the skillet towards the end of the cooking time. Transfer the spiced cauliflower mix to a bowl and let it cool for a few minutes before adding chickpea flour and egg. Use a blender stick and coarsely mix the cauliflower blend. Set in the fridge to cool for at least one hour. When cool – roll the mixture into balls and cover them in breadcrumbs. Fry the balls in two rounds, on medium heat, in a good heaping of neutral oil until golden. Transfer to a plate covered with a kitchen towel.
Tikka Masala Sauce. Peel and chop the onion. Fry in a small glug of oil on medium heat until soft and translucent. Grind the whole spices. Add chopped garlic, grated ginger, chili flakes, garam masala, cumin and coriander to the pan and fry for another minute or so. Pour in the honey and crushed tomatoes and rinse the can with a small amount of water that also goes into the pan. Let the sauce simmer for about one hour or until it’s reduced with about a third. Blitz the sauce with a blender stick until smooth. Bring it back to the stove and add cream and salt to taste.
Raita. Rinse and shop the cucumber into small pieces or grate the cucumber on the rough side of the box grater. Add a pinch of salt and let the cucumber drain for about 15 minutes. Add yoghurt to a bowl along with finely grate or chopped garlic and finely chopped mint. Squeeze the water out of the cucumber with your hands and transfer it into the bowl. Add honey, black pepper and salt to taste.
To Serve. Rinse and finely slice the cauliflower leafs. Cut the tomatoes into whatever shape you like. If you’re using store bought naans or if you take them out of the freezer I can recommend warming them in a 125 °C oven for a few minutes. And if you want to kick things up another notch it’s delicious to mix a knob of butter with a small pinch of salt and one clove of grated garlic and spread over the breads before they’re warmed. The garlic butter will melt in the oven and create the most amazing garlic naans. You can of course serve this dish with rice if you fancy, but I do prefer the bread. Just saying! Pile the balls, the sauces, the sliced leafs, the tomatoes and the almonds on top of the naan and eat this beauty like a wrap.