If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em! Since I have never beaten either of these vegetables, it stands to reason that they should be joined together then! (yeah, slap me) This popular combination is a classic in many of India’s cuisines, and this particular recipe is a long-time favorite of mine. It must be, I think, as I have so many notes scribbled in the margins around the recipe (yes, I write on the pages of my cookbooks; sometimes just a simple smiley-face to say that I liked a certain recipe; there’s a wide grin to accompany this one!). I haven’t changed anything in the original- oh, wait!… Yes I did, but my lips are sealed. Is it still authentic you might ask? Yes, I think so…
Bengali-style Potatoes and Cauliflower
5 medium-sized potatoes, quartered lengthwise and cut into 3/4-1″ pieces
3-4 T mustard oil
1 head of cauliflower, divided into florettes
1 t ground red chiles
1 t turmeric
1/4 t ground dried ginger
3 small tomatoes, cut into about 3/4″ chunks
1/2 t sugar
salt to taste
2 T water
1/2 t ground true cinnamon
1/2 t ground cloves
1/2 t ground cardamom
1)Heat the oil over med-high heat, add the potato pieces and fry, turning frequently until lightly-browned (about 10 minutes or so). Remove to a bowl (or place within the lid of your cooking-vessel to save washing a dish).
2)Add the cauliflower pieces to the pan and fry, turning constantly until brown in spots (about 4-5 minutes).
3)Reduce heat to med-low; mix 1 T water into the turmeric, chile, and ginger powders; add to the cauliflower and mix well. Add potatoes, tomato-chunks, sugar, salt to taste, and remaining tablespoon of water.
4)Cover, reduce heat to very low and cook gently until tender (about 15 minutes), stirring once or twice while it steams.
5)Check salt-level; sprinkle the cinnamon, clove and cardamom powders over the top and serve (with plain roti? That would be my preference).