A few years ago when people discovered that they could do so much more with cauliflower other than bake or roast it, it was like a whole new genre of cooking opened up to discover. Cauliflower was pulsed and crumbed to mimic raw rice and form a pure veggie pizza base amongst other things. It has always been one of my favourite vegetables and a cauliflower curry was my childhood staple. I use it every chance I get right from curries to deep fried snacks to soups. When the whole cauliflower "rice" craze started, I thought it would be wonderful to make a modern day rice-less biryani with it. Spices render beautifully with the humble cauliflower and this almost salad like stir-fry dish is brilliant hot or cold (something that instantly makes it a favourite in my book). It also fares well as the season changes because the supporting cast of changing vegetables keep it interesting and fresh. On really cold days, I like to grate some fresh turmeric and stir it through the warm bowl of spicy crumbed cauliflower for an immunity boost.
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CAULIFLOWER RICE BIRYANI SALAD
- 1 (800 g) medium sized whole cauliflower, trimmed, florets cut and processed to coarse crumbs in food processor
- 2 tablespoons ghee, sub coconut oil or nut oil for vegan
- ½ cup raisins
- ½ cup raw cashew nuts
- 1 inch piece cinnamon
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 small carrot, finely diced
- 1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
- 100 g green beans, trimmed and sliced
- 1 cup frozen green peas
- 1 tablespoon garam masala
- 2 tablespoons ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
- juice of 1 lemon
- sliced red chilli, to serve
- handful of chopped coriander and mint leaves, to serve
- lemon wedges, to serve
- Heat ghee in a large sauté pan on medium. Add raisins, cashew nuts, cinnamon, bay leaf and garlic. Sauté for a minute, tossing constantly until cashew nuts start turning golden. Add the vegetables and spices.
- Sauté for a two minutes. Reduce heat to low. Add the lemon juice and mix well. Cook for a few minutes until vegetables are just tender.
- Add the crumbed cauliflower and mix well. Continue cooking on low heat for 5-8 minutes until heated through.
- Serve with sliced chilli and chopped herbs.