We usually get a cauliflower in our weekly veg box and I am always looking for new ways to use it. Often dismissed as the most boring of the crucifer ours family, cauliflower is a lovely and versatile vegetable and lends a gentle unobtrusive crunch and creaminess to any dish it graces.
And nowhere is this feeling more fitting right now than in a warming coconut, tomato and spinach dahl, carried along by sweet tangy apricots, fragrant cardamom and warming cumin, ginger and coriander seeds.
While the lentils are a great and affordable plant based protein, the cauliflower is a rich source of phytoestrogens, helpful in balancing female hormones and potentially reducing the risk of hormone-dependent cancers. Be sure to cook the whole stalk as well as this is where most of the nutrients lie.
You can serve this with a great not just on its own in big warming bowls. An easy and delicious staple for cold winter evenings and bottom-of-the-veg-box lunches.
1 cauliflower, chopped into small chunks
10 unsulphured dried apricots, roughly chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 400ml can chopped tomatoes
1 400ml can coconut milk
1 cup red lentils
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
Seeds from 3 pods cardamom
1/2 tsp coriander seeds
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp ground cumin
2 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
400ml vegetable stock
Parsley or coriander to garnish
In a pestle and mortar or spice grinder, pulverise the cardamom and coriander seeds then mix with the rest of the spices.
Heat the coconut oil in a pan on a medium heat and add the onion, garlic, spices and apricot. Brown gently for three or four minutes then transfer to a large saucepan.
Add the cauliflower and gently brown for another five minutes. Then add the coconut milk, tomatoes, lentils and stock and gently simmer on a medium heat for twenty to twenty five minutes until the lentils are soft and the dalh has a thick soupy consistency. Add a little more stock if you prefer it a little more liquid, season to taste and serve garnished with herbs and a little black pepper.