Cauliflower poriyal is the recipe that got my kids to actually like a cooked vegetable for the first time. I give the credit to the salty, fried onions that intermingle so deliciously with the fried cauliflower.
The key to this dish is sautéing the cauliflower until it’s browned—the browned bits will be the tastiest.
(25 minutes, serves 4)
3 medium onions, chopped coarsely
3 TBL vegetable oil or ghee
1/4 tsp black mustard seed
1/4 tsp cumin seed
1 medium cauliflower, chopped bite-size
1 rounded tsp salt
1 rounded tsp turmeric
1. Sauté onions in oil on high in a large nonstick frying pan with mustard seed and cumin seed, until onions are slightly softened (not brown). Add cauliflower, turmeric, and salt. (I’ve made this in a regular frying pan, and found that it’s difficult not to burn it; if you don’t use non-stick, you’ll need to stir constantly.)
2. Cook on medium-high, stirring frequently, until cauliflower is browned (mostly yellow, but with a fair bit of brown on the flatter parts). This takes a while—don’t stop too early, or it won’t be nearly as tasty. Serve hot.