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fried cauliflower with tahini-pom sauce

November 27, 2011

i recently picked up a bottle of pomegranate molasses at a middle eastern shop. for $2, how could you go wrong? i think i’ll try it for the first time tonight, either in an eggplant-lentil stew or this, a fantastic-looking recipe from here.

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FRIED CAULIFLOWER WITH TAHINI AND POMEGRANATE MOLASSES

500ml sunflower oil
2 medium cauliflower heads, split into small florets, weighing 1kg in all
8 spring onions, each cut into three long segments
180g tahini paste
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
15g chopped parsley
15g chopped mint, plus more to finish
150g Greek yoghurt
3 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp pomegranate molasses, plus more to finish
sea salt and black pepper
Roughly 180ml water

Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Lay in a few cauliflower florets at a time and cook for two to three minutes, turning so they colour evenly. Once golden-brown, transfer to a colander with a slotted spoon, sprinkle with a little salt and leave to drain. Repeat with the rest of the cauliflower. Next, fry the spring onions, also in batches, for a minute. Add to the cauliflower and leave to cool down.

Pour the tahini paste into a large mixing bowl and add the garlic, herbs, yoghurt, lemon juice, pomegranate molasses and seasoning. Stir with a wooden spoon as you add the water. The tahini sauce will first thicken and then loosen up as you add water. Don’t add too much, just enough to get a thick yet smooth pourable consistency, a bit like honey.

Stir the cauliflower and onion into the tahini bowl, taste and adjust the seasoning. You may also want to add more lemon juice.

To serve, spoon into a serving bowl and finish with a few drops of pomegranate molasses and some mint.

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5/29/12-
I didn’t really follow the proportions. Also, the recipe called for way more sauce than my cauliflower needed. I tried to stick somewhat closely, though. Because the cauliflower are fried, it’s much more filling than it sounds, and part of a batch did me well for lunch. The pomegranate molasses doesn’t stand out strongly; the sauce mostly tastes of tahini and lemon. Cauliflower isn’t my favorite, but this camouflaged the cauliflower flavor well enough that I ate until I was full! I hoped that frying the cauliflower in oil would make it less cauliflowery, but it didn’t.

Not my favorite dish, but the yogurt sauce was good. I suspect I will find myself making that yogurt sauce again – but without the cauliflower.

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