Sunday, February 21, 2010

Dry Spiced Potatoes with Cauliflower

Since just about every day for the past week I found out someone new who reads my blog (apparently EVERYONE in Germantown does) I figure I need to step it up.  Well, this week is the food stamp challenge so that will be interesting (well, cooking for 1 will be less interesting because I'll probably end up eating about 3 things including some things I've made before).  And on a note for that, I think I have to go lunch Sunday-lunch next Sunday because I have some organic yogurt and organic milk leftover that I don't want to go bad but I obviously can't use in the challenge.  Or maybe I'll just use it instead of the first cup of regular milk and make sure I have at least some milk left.  And the yogurt is such a small amount, I might eat it after running since the food stamp plan does not account for the fact that I'm going to be running 5-6 miles today.  Anyway, that's just housekeeping, let's get on to the recipe.

As I mentioned in my last entry, I had people over for Indian food a few weeks ago, and this side dish was probably the favorite dish (besides the cilantro mint dipping sauce for the samosas), mostly because it had the most flavor.  I had my friends try to guess what was in it, and since there really isn't much in it, they did a pretty good job and turmeric was a given because it ends up pretty yellow (I really need to replace the battery in my camera).  Also, this was a great entertaining recipe because it was so easy: chop and fry; it doesn't get any better than that.  This serves 4 as a side dish:
1 lb potatoes
2 Tbsp cumin seeds
1 green chili, finely chopped (I used thai chili and it gave it a little extra kick, which I liked)
1 lb cauliflower, broken into florets
1 tsp coriander
1/4 chili powder (not the chili powder blend you buy at the supermarket, this is dried ground chilis, if you don't have access to an Indian grocery store or store with bulk spices from India, as some grad students might not, you can probably use ground cayenne or some sort of ground "red pepper")
1/2 ground turmeric
1/2 tsp salt
chopped fresh cilantro

  1. Bring pot to a boil in a medium pot.  Cut peeled and washed potatoes into 1 inch cubes, then boil for about 10 minutes.  Drain the potatoes well and set them aside.
  2. Heat oil in a wok or large pan and fry the cumin seeds for 2 minutes until the begin to sputter.  Add the fresh chili pepper and fry further for 1 minute
  3. Add cauliflower florets to the pan and fry, stirring for 5 minutes
  4. Add potatoes and spices and salt and cook for another 7-10 minutes until both vegetables are tender.  Garnish with chopped coriander.
Note that I slightly overcooked the potatoes, so I added the spice before the potatoes and cooked the cauliflower with spices for about 5 minutes, then added the potatoes and cooked for another 2.  This made the spices slightly unbalanced between the vegetables, but I made it the night before and kept it in the fridge and I think that helped it blend a little bit.

Now I have to make breakfast, probably oatmeal, but I need to figure out how much stuff I am allowed to put in my oatmeal.  Lately I've been putting dried cranberries, frozen blueberries, about a tsp of cinnamon and bit of brown sugar in it, but I think I have to cut back on this $21 budget.  Malt-o-meal might be even cheaper than oatmeal, I need to price it out, but I'll probably switch between the two for this week.

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