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The Cauliflower Caper

The humble cauliflower packs in the punch with richness in its green sepals as well.

Move aside haldi-stroked gobi aloo, deep-fried florets accompanying hot steaming cups of chai, or gobi-stuffed parathas with fat swirls of melting white butter—the humble cauliflower is going places this year. With the low-carb index of the vegetable, more and more chefs are championing the broccoli’s non-glamorous cousin to amp up the nutrient sweepstakes even further in their daily intake.

In fact, celebrated chef Leanne Kitchen developed a whopping 70 recipes for her new book, Cauliflower is King. While some would wonder at the number, Leanne cheerfully says she easily could have kept going. Let’s check out how chefs in India are taking this trend.

“One of the appealing aspects about cauliflower is that it is neutral in flavour. This means that it can be cooked and seasoned in any way you like,” explains Chef Vikram Pardeshi of The Quarter at the Opera House, Mumbai. Before using it, it should be thoroughly cleaned by washing it under running water and immersing it in a bowl full of salted warm water to remove dirt and worms, if any.

One can boil, braise, steam, deep-fry, puree, saute, gratin… to prepare the vegetable (unless you prefer eating it raw in salads). Says Vikram, “My favourite method of cooking cauliflower is to ‘gratinate’. I feel cheese simply loves cauliflower. Adding heavy cream to the veggie, and then simmering till it reduces causes florets to caramelise at the edges, bubbling and crisp on top. This is a fabulous alternative to Mac n Cheese.

Shilpi Madan for New Indian Express

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