Sunday, December 21, 2014

Spicy Cauliflower Stew, Brown Jasmine Rice Pilaf (Almost No Added Fat)

This past August, I made a tasty cauliflower stew. My wife picked up a head of cauliflower, and that brought back nice memories of it, as well as a creamy mashed cauliflower that I also made that month. My daughter ate earlier a vegan grilled cheese sandwich and other items, so I was free to make something spicy, and thought I'd use a prepared Madras simmer sauce. It has garlic, so I thought I'd make a version of the stew, serve my Dad, then simmer with the sauce for my wife and me. In the original stew, I had zucchini, garlic, and oregano; I skipped those, used green onion instead of regular onion, and took my suggestions from when I made it last, and added garam masala and corn.

We love Jade pearl rice, but it's not been available recently. My daughter picked out brown Jasmine rice (cooked in a 1:2 ratio for about 45-50m, like other brown rices), and I thought I'd make a pilaf to accompany the cauliflower. Here is what I did:

  • Head of cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1T miso
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 1/8 t turmeric
  • (optional) 1/8 t garam masala
  • 5 scallions cut into 1/4" pieces (alternately, 1/4 cup onion chopped to 3/8" cubes would work well)
  • 6 ounces (half of the 12 ounce bottle) Madras simmer sauce

  1. I put the cauliflower, miso, water, and corn into my InstantPot and cooked at high pressure for 2 minutes.
  2. I let the pressure cooker come down in temperature so that I could open it (one could slowly release pressure, as well). I added the turmeric, garam masala, and onion, and served to my Dad.
  3. I added the Madras simmer sauce and turned the InstantPot on in low saute mode and cooked for 2 or 3 minutes, stirring, then served.
I also made a pilaf from brown Jasmine rice. I sauteed over medium heat in a small Saladmaster stock pan three green onion stalks, chopped to 1/4" or smaller pieces for a few minutes, then added a similarly chopped carrot and cooked another minute. I added just under a cup of rice, stirred for another minute or two (some of the rice started cooking and clarifying in color), added about 3/4 teaspoon finely chopped ginger, cooked another half minute, then added a vegan bouillon cube, a little salt (maybe 1/2t), twice as much water as rice, and a cup of frozen baby peas. I brought to a boil then simmered on low heat, covered, for 45m.


When I made the stew back in August, I thought that the dish was good but my wife craved more spice. She and I loved today's dish - the spice was good but still maybe a bit mild. The pilaf was also very good.

Ideas for the future

I label the main course "almost no added fat" because, as it turns out, the simmer sauce has a little oil. But the total amount of fat in the whole bottle is 12g, and I only used half a bottle, so each serving was only about 3g of fat.

I like the simmer sauce that I purchased; it uses high quality, organic ingredients (water, tomatoes in juice, onions, tomato puree, sunflower oil, tapioca starch, evaporated cane sugar, cilantro, sea salt, lemon juice, garlic, coriander, cumin, ginger, turmeric, paprika, cayenne, black pepper, chili pepper, fennel, fenugreek, cardamom, cinnamon, and cloves). I could try making my own sauce, but this hardly seems worth it as the quality of the prepared sauce is good, and the added oil isn't too much.

The cauliflower was still soft! Maybe I should try 2 or 3 minutes pressure cooking at low pressure, and to do a quick release as soon as the time is up? I have not yet experimented with low pressure cooking in my InstantPot.

The corn added a nice texture. Some chopped kale, collards, mustard, or other greens could have been nice, as well, in the stew. I was pleased with the consistency as well - much less water and I probably would have had some sticking to the pot; more, and it would have been too soupy.

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