This recipe is not only a singular dish, it is a whole menu, full of my favourite ingredients and flavours – obviously inspired by Indian as well as Arab cuisine. It’s a combination as well of different texture and temperature, that really works well: Crispy cold or lukewarm chapati bread, creamy warm roasted cauliflower, bread and cauliflower both with a nice smoky taste. This is paired with creamy sweet lentil and spinat daal and contrasting fresh nutty-tart sesame mint joghurt. Sesame and black onion seeds (black cumin) are kind of a red thread of the meal.
The roasted cauliflower needs some justification. Cause, normally cauliflower is banished from my kitchen. The strange watery taste and memories of cauliflower drowned in bechamel sauce led to this.
But Deb’s cumin seed roasted cauliflower let me rethink the whole thing. It sounded interesting – and different to my previous experiences. And now, after I dared to overcome my cauliflower trauma, I think this preparation brings out the best of this vegetable that is possible. I liked it, really! Cauliflower still isn’t my favourite veg, but I liked it. Really!
Palak daal with roasted cauliflower, sesame mint dip and chapati bread (2p.)
chapati: 100 g bread flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, water, 1/2 teaspoon black onion seeds
roasted cauliflower: 1 small cauliflower, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon black onion seeds, 1 teaspoon garam masala, chili flakes
palak daal: 150 g fresh spinach, 100 g lentils, 1 clove garlic, 1 teaspoon garam masala, 1/2 teaspoon curcuma, 1 teaspoon olive oil, 1 teaspoon vegetable stock powder
sesame mint dip: 100 g yoghurt, 1 tablespoon tahini, 1 tablespoon chopped mint, 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
For the chapati bread pile flour on your working surface or in a bowl. Mix with salt and black onion seeds and step by step combine with water. Knead water and flour until you have a firm dough that is still elastic enough to roll it out (The texture can be compared to pasta dough.). Form 6 little balls and roll them out very thin. Heat pan on highest temperature and bake flatbread one after another (without using oil) for about 2 minutes on each side until they’re nicely roasted on both sides. Put aside. You can serve them cold or heat them up for a few minutes in the oven later.
Preheat oven to 200°C. Wash cauliflower and cut into bite-sized florets. Toss florets with olive oil, black onion seeds, garam masala, chili flakes (to taste) and salt and spread out on baking tray lined out with baking paper. Roast for 20 to 30 minutes.
For the daal meanwhile wash lentils. In a small bowl heat olive oil and roast garlic, garam masala and curcuma for about a minute. Add lentils, cover with vegetable stock powder and water and cook for about 20 min. until everything has turned into a (not too thick mash). Maybe you have to add some more water. Season with salt if needed. Wash spinach (It will be added just before serving, cause it needs hardly time to cook).
While the lentils are cooking and the cauliflower is in the oven you can prepare the dip. Just mix yoghurt, tahini, chopped mint and ½ tablespoon sesame seeds until smooth. Season with salt and top with remaining sesame seeds. Put aside.
When cauliflower and lentils are ready, fold washed spinach under the lentils (it will shrink immediatly) and serve all four dishes together.