Friday, October 9, 2009

Cucumber and Cauliflower cooked in Coconut milk

My friend Raveela had made this side dish on her son's first birthday party. Last week, Smita had given me few home-grown organic cucumbers. It was more than what we could eat as salad, so I got the recipe from Raveela and made it for dinner yesterday. The flavours in this dish are a little different from most other Indian curries. It kind of feels like a blend of Thai and Indian cuisines - perhaps, from the coconut milk.

Medium cucumbers - 2 - Peeled and chopped into 1 inch pieces
Cauliflower florets - 2 cups (cut into bite sized florets)
Coconut - 2 cups grated (or equivalent pieces)
Cumin seeds - 2 tsp (1 tsp for grinding and 1 tsp for tempering)
Coriander seeds - 1 tsp
Green chillies - 3 to 4 or to taste
Red chillies - 2 or to taste
Cinnamon - 1/2 inch piece
Curry leaves - 6-8 leaves
Juice of 1 lemon
salt - to taste

Extract coconut milk (thick and thin) with 1 tsp of cumin seeds, coriander seeds, green chillies, red chillies and cinnamon. To do this, grind all the above mentioned ingredients in a blender with 2-3 cups of warm water. Using a strainer, squeeze out all the liquid, reserve the residue and set aside. This makes the first or the thick milk. Grind the residue in the blender again with 1 1/2 - 2 cups of warm water and squeeze out the thin or the second milk. Discard the residue now.

Boil the cucumbers and cauliflowers with the thin coconut milk until cooked. Now add salt and the thick coconut milk and remove from heat. Add the juice of 1 lemon and mix well. In a separate small pan heat oil, fry curry leaves and remaining cumin seeds and add to the cooked vegetable. Enjoy hot with plain or jeera rice.

Raveela told me that the same preparation can be done with cabbage, bottle gourd (loki), white pumpkin, cucumber and cauliflower - solo or mix n match.

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