Actually, it's cardamom, cumin, coriander, chili pepper, peppercorn and red onion roasted cauliflower. It's easy to make and has wonderful flavors from the Indian spices. The past few months, we've seen purple and orange cauliflower at the grocery store and finally tried them in this roasted cauliflower recipe. Wouldn't you want colorful cauliflower too?
Purple cauliflower looks nice and pretty raw, but turns dark when cooked, like most other purple fruits and vegetables. We couldn't taste any differences between the white, purple and orange cauliflower, but the spices and caramelized red onions are the predominant flavors in this dish.
According to this All About Cauliflower article, purple cauliflower...
"cooks faster than white cauliflower and has a little milder taste. When cooked, its color changes from purple to green. Purple cauliflower can be substituted for white in most recipes."
The purple color is caused by anthocyanins (like those found in red cabbage and red wine), which is an antioxidant. And orange cauliflower...
"is very similar to regular white cauliflower in taste and appearance except it is bright orange in color. Because of its high content of beta-carotene, orange cauliflower's vitamin A content is approximately 25 times higher than white cauliflower. Its color and nutritional value are two characteristics that will make this a popular vegetable choice."
We're glad our purple cauliflower didn't turn green, but then again, green is better than turning black.
We usually serve the cardamom roasted cauliflower with jasmine or basmati rice. The caramelized red onions are a great compliment to the cauliflower. The onions are crispy, a little oily and are delicious mixed in with the rice.
We'll pass on cooking with purple cauliflower in the future, but we'll definitely use the orange one again. I think the orange color would be interesting in our curry cauliflower soup.
Cardamom Roasted Cauliflower Recipe
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil plus extra for greasing sheet pan
- 3 green cardamom pods
- 1-2 dried red chilies or 1 fresh Thai chili (optional)
- 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon whole peppercorns
- 1 head cauliflower (2 1/2 to 3 pounds) cored and broken into medium florets
- 1 large red onion, halved and thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Grease a sheet pan or jellyroll pan with olive oil and set aside.
- Grind the cardamom pods, chilies, coriander, cumin and whole peppercorns in a coffee grinder or mini food processor until fine. Mix the spices with oil in a large bowl. Add the cauliflower florets and onions and toss to coat. Add additional oil if necessary.
- Transfer the vegetables to a baking pan, spread evenly. Roast until they're tender and the onions are caramelized, about 30-35 minutes, stirring halfway through. Transfer to large bowl, sprinkle with salt and toss, adjust salt to taste and serve.
Makes 4 servings as a side dish
[Adapted from American Masala by Suvir Saran]