You know the story; mother-in-law cooked it first, I copied – adding a bit of extra spice and here it is: Algerian fried cauliflower.
Growing up in England where the traditional way to cook almost all vegetables is to boil them and serve with a Sunday roast. You can see why I didn’t eat many vegetables as a kid.
A Sunday/any day of the week roast has it’s charms and if the vegetables aren’t completely a mush (except you know, mash potatoes) and seasoned well it’s pleasing enough.
Once I became introduced to the world of spice though, there was no looking back. And we all know boiled veg is going to taste A LOT better covered in a lightly spiced batter and shallow fried.
This simple side dish I picked up from mother-in-law just couldn’t be easier.
Boiled cauliflower florets, only just cooked-through, get left to hang out in the colander to cool, while you whip up the batter.
Egg, four, salt, black pepper and cumin. Why not add some finely chopped fresh (in my case frozen fresh) coriander while you’re there?!.
Heat up about an inch of oil in a large frying pan. Dip the cooled cauliflower into the batter, turning to coat and then fry!
Turn the florets a few times in the oil for even cooking and that’s that.
The flavour and that little bit of textural difference from being battered and fried makes eating cauliflower more exciting, at least it does for this adult.
You may notice my recipe doesn’t make heaps of fried cauliflower.
While I can make cauliflower exciting for me, my children are still cauliflower averse. Except my youngest, who will eat gratin every now and then and calls it ‘custard’.
I wonder if it’s the smell when boiling cauliflower that sends childrens brains into “I’m not even going to try it” mode?!
While I ponder on that, here’s the recipe.
- 1/2 medium cauliflower, broken into big florets (I got 5)
- 2 tablespoon plain flour
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- Salt to taste about 1/2 tsp
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tbsp fresh coriander, finely chopped
- Oil, for frying
- Cook cauliflower florets in a pan of lightly salted boiling water for 12-15mins until just fork tender. Drain in a colanderand set aside to cool while making the batter.
- In a small bowl, mix the rest of the ingredients together until smooth.
- Pre-heat a large frying pan with about an inch of oil to 180C or until hot – test by adding a little batter to the pan and if it sizzles and floats to the surface the oil is ready.
- Using a fork dip each cauliflower floret in the batter, turn to coat and then fry until lightly golden brown, turn the florets regularly for even cooking/colour.