Cauliflower Pilau

(Photo by pizzodisevo/Flickr)
(Photo by pizzodisevo/Flickr)

Serves 4-6.


375 g/12 oz/2 cups basmati rice
500 g/1 lb cauliflower
2 tablespoons ghee
2 tablespoons oil
2 tablespoons Indian green masala paste
125 ml/4 fl oz/1/2 cup natural yoghurt
3 cardamom pods, bruised
1 cinnamon stick
1 litre/2 pints/4 cups water
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons sultanas (golden raisins)


Wash the rice well and leave to drain in a sieve. Cut the cauliflower into florets and cut each floret in half, keeping some of the stem on each piece. Heat half the ghee and oil in a wok or frying pan until very hot and fry the cauliflower, pressing against the pan with the back of a frying spoon until the cauliflower is tinged with brown. Lower heat, add green masala paste and fry for a minute, then add the yoghurt and mix. Cover and cook for 4 or 5 minutes. Turn off heat.

Heat remaining ghee and oil in a saucepan with a well-fitting lid. Fry the cardamom and cinnamon, then add the rice and fry for 3 minutes. Add the cauliflower and its spice mixture, rinse the wok or frying pan with the measured water and pour it into the rice. Stir in salt and sultanas, bring to the boil, cover with lid and turn heat very low. Steam for 15 minutes without lifting lid. Remove from heat, uncover and allow steam to escape for a few minutes before serving with a bowl of yoghurt and sweet mango chutney.

Recipe excerpted from Encyclopedia of Asian Food by Charmaine Solomon (Periplus Editions, 1998)