Cauliflower Bhaji

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I harvested a few cauliflowers and heads of broccoli at the weekend.

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I think the strange white with purple splodges cauliflower is actually meant to be a purple one, but I am not sure – I can never remember what seeds I plant. My cauliflowers are always less than perfect because I forget about them – bad me – they still taste good though.

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Some I froze but I decided to keep one cauliflower to eat this week. I am often lazy with cauliflower – I freeze it then just make cauliflower cheese with it. Yesterday I wanted to do something different. I thought about some kind of cauliflower and chickpea salad, but wasn’t in the mood. I thought about roast cauliflower but it all seemed too healthy and then I found a recipe for cauliflower pakora or bhaji.

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Oh yeah, cauliflower fried in a spicy chickpea batter sounded a lot better than salad. And I could serve it with cacik which ticks the cucumber of the day box …. we have to eat at least one cucumber and ideally two a day at the moment.

Cauliflower Bhaji: 1 cauliflower, 150g chickpea flour, 2tsp ground cumin and also ground coriander, 1/2 tsp of ground turmeric and salt and a generous pinch of chilli.

Chop the cauliflower into small-ish florets. If you garden organically and the net or enviromesh you used to cover the cauliflower was a little small so the wretched cabbage white butterflies got in and laid their eggs, then check carefully for caterpillars – caterpillar bhaji is not so nice.

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To make the batter, put 150g or so of chickpea flour in a large bowl. Add the spices and 175-200ml of water and whisk well. You might need more water – it should have the consistency of double cream.

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To be honest you can just mess about with the flour and water measurements. if you like more batter on your bhaji then increase the amounts.

Put the florets in the batter and stir to ensure they are well covered.

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Heat some vegetable oil in a pan or wok – it should be about 1cm deep. When very hot, fry the cauliflower in batches – don’t put too many in at one time. When golden brown remove from the oil and drain on kitchen paper.

Serve with cacik and flatbread.

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Of course it would be nice with a daal as well, but really, it was Monday night, making the bhaji, cacik and pita was more than enough work.

Cacik is just chopped up cucumber, thick yoghurt, a splash of olive oil and vinegar + some salt mixed together. You can add finely chopped mint or garlic as well. Does it sound a lot like tzatziki? It is the same – same dish, same part of the world, same word, but one spelling is Turkish and one is Greek. I use the Turkish spelling because I speak Turkish not Greek.

N.B. yes they are purple beans – disappointingly they turn green when cooked, although they do still taste rather fabulous.

5 responses to “Cauliflower Bhaji

  1. I love tzatziki (sorry, we’ve not been to Turkey yet) and use a Jamie Oliver recipe that has become a bit of a campsite hit 🙂 I’ve never used fresh mint, nearly all the recipes I looked at use dried.

  2. That looks yum! We love tzatziki here. We make big bowls of the stuff with lots of fresh garlic in it and mint from the garden, then gorge on it with our pitta breads.,,,well the children do. I’m lucky if I get the scrapings from the bowl.

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