Is it just me, or does it seem like a lot of folks are eating Paleo these days? I’m not sure whether it’s because of the popularity of Crossfit or whether people just find that they feel better cutting out grains, sugar and whatever else it is that Paleo people don’t eat. Probably a combination of both.
I was skimming some Paleo cookbooks looking for recipe inspiration awhile back and noticed that mashed cauliflower is the go-to substitute for mashed potatoes, although a quick Google search certainly seems to indicate it’s popular dish for both low carbers and Regular Joes alike. But most of the recipes I found online were loaded with cream or butter to replicate the same taste as the rich original dish.
Now I have nothing against butter or cream, but plain mashed potatoes aren’t something I often make (or crave) outside of Thanksgiving dinner. But when I came across an Indian recipe for spiced mashed potatoes from my favorite Indian cookbook author, I figured this would be the perfect opportunity to try the cauliflower for potato substitution.
In this vegan and gluten-free dish cooked cauliflower (I boiled mine, but steaming or roasting would also work) is pureed, topped with a spicy mustard seed and turmeric onion topping, and garnished with plenty of chopped cilantro. No bland cauliflower here- this stuff is like a party for your mouth.
Whether you’re following a Paleo diet, cutting out nightshade vegetables due to an autoimmune issue, or just really like cauliflower, I think this will become one of your new favorites. It was a definite hit around here…
Indian Spiced Mashed Cauliflower
Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
* 1 medium to large head cauliflower, cut into florets
* 2 Tablespoons oil
* 1-1/2 teaspoons yellow or brown mustard seeds
* 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
* 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
* 1/4 cup roughly chopped cilantro
Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add the cauliflower and cook until the cauliflower is easily pierced with a fork, about 6 minutes. Drain very well and return to the stockpot over the still warm (but turned off) burner. Cover and let sit for 2-3 minutes. Place the cauliflower florets in the base of a food processor or high speed blender. Process until smooth and creamy. Season with salt and scoop onto a shallow serving bowl.
In a small saucepan heat the oil over high heat until the oil begins to smoke. Add the mustard seeds and immediately cover with a lid or a splatter screen. When the mustard seeds begin to slow down/stop popping, add the turmeric, cayenne pepper and red onion. Cook, stirring, for about a minute, just until the onion begins to soften. Scatter the mixture over the cauliflower and garnish with the cilantro leaves. Swirl the mixture together just before serving.
Loosely Adapted from/Inspired by Quick Fix Indian: Easy, Exotic Dishes in 30 Minutes or Less by Ruta Kahate