Cauliflower KormaTuesday, April 05, 2011
Food painting artwork30 x 30cm impasto acrylic on paper. The paper is no ordinary paper, it is textured Hahnemuhle 300 gsm 100% alpha cellulose which is acid-free fibre of vegetable origin.
This detailed cauliflower was painstakingly painted by hand and is not a flat design. The paint is raised off the surface of the paper (impasto), adding depth and texture especially when seen from an angle.
In India, as part of the pre-wedding preparations, intricate henna designs are painted onto the hands and feet of the bride. There are elements of tradition and auspiciousness associated with the designs, known as mehndi. Having mehndi painted on is meant to signify the transition from virgin to temptress.
This mehndi inspired design has nothing to do with marriage, henna or hands. It does, however, obviously nod to the source of this dish which can be found all over India. It also celebrates the humble cauliflower being transformed into a dazzling tempting meal.
By the way, all the food painting artwork is available to own in the Official Art Store.
The meatless meals recipe
What have we ended up with here? A full flavoured, cashew creamy, slightly sweet, sans out of season tomato, delectable korma delight that has the extra spice lift of the north with the dried fruit sweetness of the south. And it's dead easy to make.
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
2 teaspoons garam masala
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon powder
1 large onion
25g fresh ginger
4 cloves garlic
4 tablespoons butter
2 - 2 1/2 cups stock
1/2 cup cream
1/2 cup dried fruit such as raisins or currants or sultanas
700g cauliflower, cut into florets
150g paneer in cubes or slices of boiled egg or chopped mixed vegetables
pinch chilli powder to taste
salt to taste
Measure out the coriander, turmeric, garam masala, cumin and cinnamon powders into a small bowl and have this ready to go.
Also get the stock ready to go.
Use a blender to make a paste of the onion, ginger and garlic, adding a splash of water to help with the blending if necessary.
Melt the butter and fry this onion paste until it thickens and/or darkens in colour. If it is beginning to stick it has definitely been fried enough.
Add the bowl of spices and fry for just a minute or two. They will darken, but don't let them blacken.
Add 2 cups of the stock and stir until smooth.
Add the cream and cloves.
Use a blender (plus a splash of water if needed) to make a paste of the cashews and half the dried fruit. If you don't like munching into sweet dried fruit in your curry, put all of the dried fruit in the blender with the cashews. Do not leave them out as this dish needs that background sweetness.
Add the cashew paste and all the dried fruit, as paste or left whole, to the pot.
Add the cauliflower (and mixed veg).
Simmer gently with the lid on for 30 minutes. Add extra stock while cooking if needed.
(Add the boiled egg slices or paneer and heat through)
Add salt and a pinch or two of chilli powder to taste.