Recipe Box: Indian inspired vegetarian feast!

Indian food is my favorite. I especially love a nice spicy daal on these freezing winter nights. Here's a little feast I put together for a couple of friends one snowy day last weekend.

spinach and lentil <span class=
Palak Daal

curried cauliflower
Crispy Curried Cauliflower

<<span class=
Green salad with macadamia nuts and cilantro lime dressing!

Menu: Vegetarian (vegan, in fact) Indian Feast for 4.

Crispy Curried Cauliflower

Green Salad with Macadamia Nuts
with Cilantro Lime Dressing

Palak Dal
with Steamed Basmati Rice and Naan

Crispy Curried Cauliflower:
1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
1/2 cup flour
1/4 olive oil
2 tbsp red curry paste*
1 tbsp Hungarian hot paprika
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander seeds, lightly toasted
1 green chile pepper, diced
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup fresh cilantro

Preheat oven to 450. In a small bowl, whisk together oil, spices and curry paste. Place cauliflower florets in large bowl. Pour oil mixture over cauliflower and toss to coat. Gradually fold in flour, until all of the cauliflower is evenly coated with flour and spices. Pour into a 9x13" roasting dish, sprinkle with salt and diced pepper and bake for 35 minutes or until cauliflower is tender and slightly crispy. Serve warm, sprinkled with cilantro.

*Kurt got me hooked on this little jar of Red Curry Paste. A long time ago, when he was a dirty crusty vegan kid, he used to stir in into his Ramen Noodles. I have to say, I can't blame him. I've only had it for a couple of weeks, but I've already added it to sauces, salad dressing and roasted chickpeas. I know this is Thai curry paste, not Indian, but the flavors lend well. I'm on a full-blown red curry paste binge, OK?

Palak Dal:
This is a very rich and flavorful lentil dish from one of my favorite recipe sources, 101 Cookbooks. Heidi has provided me with some of the most memorable, satisfying recipes. They're always unique, nutritious and easy to throw together on a weeknight. <3

1 cup / 6.5 oz / 185 g white urid or urad daal, picked over and rinsed (I substituted this with green lentils)
6 cups / 1.5 liters water, plus more if necessary
1/2 pound spinach, washed and finely chopped
1 tablespoon ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
2 medium green chile peppers, minced
2 tomatoes, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon pure red chile powder
a pinch of asafetida, optional
more salt to taste
juice of 1/2 a lemon
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

From 101 Cookbooks:

In a large pot over medium-high heat combine the daal and water. Bring to a boil, then add the spinach, ginger, turmeric, 3/4 of the green chiles, and all of the tomatoes. Reduce the heat, and simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until the lentils are extremely soft. You may need to add a bit more water during the cooking process to keep the lentils soupy. After an hour and a half, stir in the salt.

In a separate pan, heat the butter and cumin and fry until the cumin seeds start to pop. Now add the red chile powder (and asafetida if you're using it) and fry for another 30 seconds. Taste and add more asafetida if you like. Add this butter mixture to the lentils and allow to cook for another five minutes. Taste, and season with more salt if needed. I also enjoyed a touch of lemon juice added at this point. Serve topped with the cilantro and the remaining green chiles.

Green Salad with Macadamia Nuts and Cilantro Lime Dressing
1 head romaine lettuce
3 carrots, shredded
1 cucumber, sliced thin
1/2 cup salted macadamia nuts

1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
Juice of 2 limes
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp fresh grated ginger
1/2 tsp cumin
Salt and pepper


  1. that looks delicious! are they your own pictures?

    lovely blog, by the way.

  2. Thank you!
    And yes, they are my own photos.

  3. Here I am Johanna, with a whole cauliflower in my fridge, looking at your recipe. I think I like it the best of any I've seen. The half cup of flour sets it apart. The pic, of course, makes me want to eat the entire dish. Hope mine comes out half that good looking.


  4. How'd it turn out? It's so funny that you posted this comment last night because of all things, I had a craving for this recipe and was actually making it when you're comment popped up!

  5. The crispy curried cauliflower recipe is mouth watering. Haven't made it yet but I could almost taste it while reading this blog.

  6. Crispy Cauliflower is delicious, it is a staple in our home now, THANKS! Just an FYI, the olive oil listed in that recipe says "1/4" instead of "1/4 cup" : )


Speak your mind.