Cauliflower is a versatile vegetable and one of the easiest to hide in a dish or disguise as something else. Cooked cauliflower prepared in the fashion of a potato salad offers a similar taste sensation with a different set of nutrients. Potatoes and cauliflower can be mashed together in equal amounts without anyone suspecting the presence of cauliflower. Raw cauliflower “riced” in a food processor is often not perceived for what it is and is thought to be something else. It makes a great tabouleh, couscous or quinoa type salad.
I have tried my hand at all of the above examples plus a few more and would enjoy doing any or all of them again. I was beginning to think there are only so many ways to use cauliflower, but then I read Sandhya’s brilliant post, “Cauliflower Rice Upma“, at Indfused.com (Indian & Indian Fusion Cooking In America). Upma is my favorite South Indian breakfast and I make it frequently, so I had to try it with cauliflower in place of the usual semolina.
I used the same spices and ingredients I usually do when making Upma – the flavors I remember from my childhood in India:
- mustard seeds
- cardamom pods
- stick cinnamon
- coriander seeds
- cumin seeds
- fennel seeds
- dried red chilis (arbol)
- curry leaves (some chopped & some whole)
After sautéing the spices and nuts in oil for a couple minutes I added chopped onion, minced jalapeño, shredded carrot, frozen peas and golden raisins.
Then I mixed in the raw cauliflower which had been blended to a grainy consistency in the food processor.
I seasoned the upma with salt and let it cook without a lid, stirring occasionally. There was no need to add any water for a perfect crumbly consistency.