So remember how I’m in midst of a passionate love affair with the ever seductive world of Asian cooking?
Well, my friends, it has reached whole new heights of ecstasy with my current plunge into the magical land of Indian food.
Shockingly, I hadn’t tried Indian food until this past fall! But then my BFF and I ventured to the Indian restaurant down the road from her house in Syracuse (Taste of India off Westcott St. It’s delish!) and from the first bite of my Baingan Bharta, I was hooked.
This past weekend my mom and step dad came for a visit since Collin and I are moving to our brand spankin’ new apartment, and we took them to Thali of India in Henrietta, the land of Asian restaurants. It was an overall amazing dining experience since the waiters were super friendly and there was a whole vegetarian menu with a note that said anything could be made vegan!
I chose the vegetable jalfreezi which was excellent in its own right, but the scene stealer of the night was my mom’s Chana Palak, a creamy spinach and tomato curry base with chickpeas; out of this world, I’m tellin’ ya.
While I’ve been hunting down a recipe (and more free time) to experiment with cooking up some chana palak of my own, I did cure my now constant Indian food craving with some boldly spiced cauliflower and tempeh last night.
Flavorful, complex, and savory, I’d say it was the perfect way to christen my new kitchen with me and Collin’s first meal in our new place.
Piled on top of some simple quinoa and garnished with a few sprigs of cilantro, this dish came together better than I imagined, and is definitely going in my ethnic food rotation.
For the cauliflower & tempeh
- 1 package organic, original tempeh
- 1 bag frozen cauliflower
- 1 tbsp. coconut oil
- 1 tsp. garam masala
- 1 tsp. curry powder
- 1/2 tsp. tumeric
- 1/2 tsp. cumin
- 1/2 tsp. coriander powder
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1 tbsp. tamari
- 1/2 tbsp. sriracha
For the Quinoa
- 1/2 cup dry quinoa
- 1 large onion
- 3 cloves minced garlic
- 1/2 inch piece grated ginger
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- salt & pepper to taste
- Optional: Greens like kale or spinach
Preheat oven to 450. Melt the coconut oil until in liquid form. In a separate, large bowl, mix frozen cauliflower, cubed tempeh, soy sauce, sriracha, and spices. Pour oil over everything and mix thoroughly. If your bowl has a top, put it on and give it a good shake. Bake in a large baking pan for about 30 minutes, flipping every 10 minutes or so until cauliflower is browned and tempeh is crispy.
While cauliflower mixture roasts, cook your quinoa. Once it’s done, place a bit of veg broth in a large pan and sautee onion over medium-high heat for 5 minutes. Add garlic and ginger, a bit more broth, and cook 5 minutes more. Add greens if you wish, the remaining broth, salt and pepper, and cooked quinoa. Simmer until liquid dissolves and season again to your liking.
Top the quinoa with roasted cauliflower and tempeh, a skirt of sriracha if ya love the spice like I do, and garnish with some cilantro. Voila!
This meal satisfies take out cravings without leaving the house, comes together easily if you have a stocked spice rack, and clears up your sinuses with its subtle but powerful kick of heat!
If you’re an ethnic food fiend like me, cook this baby up and let me know how it goes!