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Progress in the Kitchen

April 7, 2010

The nights that Ali doesn’t make it home for dinner are a mixed blessing because:

1. I feel sorry for him…10 hours at work is long enough but having to entertain people at dinner too?  Talk about torture.
2. I feel sorry for myself… I have to single-handedly entertain Maya for at least 4.5 hours.
3. I feel happy…I don’t have to cook!

Yesterday was one of those days when Ali said he “might” not be eating dinner at home.   After wondering why my husband of nearly 10 years still doesn’t know how much uncertainty throws me into a tailspin, I went ahead and made dinner anyway, figuring that we’d eat it eventually. 

I’ve been in an Indian food sort of mood lately.  But since my mother lives at least 1 hour away and there are no decent Indian restaurants near us, I’ve had to take matters into my own hands.  Thus that is why I decided to cook up a cauliflower I randomly picked up from Trader Joe’s a few days ago – Indian style.

If someone told me a year ago that I would not only purchase a whole cauliflower, but would cook it too, I would have laughed. But there I was yesterday, yielding a knife and disassembling the cauliflower like a pro.  (Note that I measure my progress by how much I cut myself while chopping and I am pleased to say that there were zero kitchen accidents yesterday!  No kitchen accidents makes me a pro.  Of course.)

Indian-Style Cauliflower

1 cauliflower, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/2 onion, chopped
1/4 cup water
2 teaspoons of olive oil
1 teaspoon of panch phoron (I’m no expert but if you don’t have this you can use 1/2 teaspoon each of cumin and mustard seeds and this will still turn out great.)
1 teaspoons of turmeric
1 teaspoon of garam masala
2 tablespoons cilantro

Heat the oil in a nonstick pan, add the spices and mix well. Once the mustard seeds start sizzling add the onion and lower the heat to medium. Stir until the onion is soft. Add the cauliflower and stir until everything is covered with the spices. Pour 1/4 of water into the pan, cover, and let the cauliflower steam for 8-10 minutes. Sprinkle with garam masala and cilantro and serve.

I served this over a quinoa-peas combination instead of rice (which would be just as good).  Cook 1 cup of quinoa according to the directions (it cooks like rice).  While the quinoa is simmering add 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric and 1/2 cup of frozen peas.  

After two nights off Ali will be gracing us with his presence tonight.  That means that I only need to entertain Maya for 3 hours instead of 4.5, and since I’ve already cooked tonight’s dinner I have 1.5 hours of free time on my hands.  Talk about winning the jackpot!

If you aren’t tired of my sarcasm yet, check out my guest post at The Process of Healing.

36 Comments leave one →
  1. April 7, 2010 7:47 pm

    YUM! I’m on an Indian kick too! Garam masala is the bomb-diggity.

  2. April 7, 2010 8:58 pm

    Great looking dish! Sounds delicious as well. I need to use cauliflower more in my cooking. Don’t know why I don’t use it much, prob cause of the blah color.

    Such a funny but true guest post. About the metabolism thing…sigh. Left you a comment there as well.

  3. April 7, 2010 9:05 pm

    I love Indian food! The extent of my at-home cooking of Indian food is opening up those packets from Trader Joe’s. I know, it’s sad.

    I LOVED your guest post. I agree with every point.

  4. April 7, 2010 9:42 pm

    This year will be the year I try cooking Indian food. That’s a promise I made to myself.

    Enjoy those 1.5 hours. hahaha…

  5. April 7, 2010 9:48 pm

    I LOVE indian food and califlower so this one will be made soon. Thanks for the recipe and enjoy your 1.5 hours of free time!

  6. Danielle permalink
    April 7, 2010 9:48 pm

    The Indian-Style Cauliflower looks really good! I can’t believe you don’t like to cook; you’re good at it!

    I thoroughly enjoyed your guest post 😀

  7. April 7, 2010 10:12 pm

    Well done! Cauliflower? Well done!

  8. April 7, 2010 10:20 pm

    Love the indian cauli!
    Per the protein, yes, stop stressing girl. It’s fine. Really. And if your body wants more, it will tell you 🙂

    As for the candy/Maya, yes, loosen the reigns is my thought, you dont want a junkfood junkie as a backlash when she’s 16 🙂

    I love that cauli. Add nooch to it. 3 Tbsp = 9 grams of protein. 🙂

  9. actorsdiet permalink
    April 7, 2010 10:52 pm

    cauliflower and peas are so pretty!

  10. April 8, 2010 3:49 am

    That looks restaurant-worthy!! Yum!

  11. April 8, 2010 3:49 am

    I’m just like you…no kitchen accidents = I’m becoming a chef! 😀

  12. April 8, 2010 4:52 am

    It’s funny that you said “my husband of 10 years” because normally you say, “my husband of forever.” 🙂

    I had a cauliflower disaster last night… lets just say that the mixer (not me ;)) launched cauliflower all over the kitchen.

  13. April 8, 2010 5:09 am

    Yum! I just happen to have some fresh cauliflower and garam marsala on hand 🙂

  14. April 8, 2010 5:22 am

    I love your guest post. I’m already married, but I’ll take the advice about kids.

  15. April 8, 2010 5:33 am

    I’m with you: I never would have thought I’d like cauliflower five years ago, but I really do. I feel bad for Ali. Client dinner after a 10-hour day? That doesn’t sound like fun at all!

  16. April 8, 2010 5:46 am

    I never thought that veggies would be such a big part of my diet, but I can’t go a day without them before I start craving them like a madwoman.

    That being said, there’s a huge amount of danger associated with a diet high in veggies; the potential to lose a finger tip skyrockets.

  17. erintakescontrol permalink
    April 8, 2010 6:00 am

    That’s looking good! I love cauliflower and peas together, and this looks awesome! And yay for no kitchen accidents!

  18. April 8, 2010 6:31 am

    I can somewhat relate about the mixed blessing thing… Andrew loves playing disc golf with his buddies after work and they’ll often go grab a bite to eat afterwards. On one hand I miss him b/c I haven’t seen him all day, but on the other hand, I can eat whatever I want without worrying about what to make for the both of us!!

    Your cauliflower dish looks sooo good Ameena!! Great idea to serve it over quinoa. We have quinoa in our pantry, but I don’t make it nearly enough b/c I forget about it.

    Have a lovely day!!!! 🙂

  19. April 8, 2010 6:33 am

    I never get tired of sarcasm..I loved your guest post!

    Cauliflower looks good- I have to buy the frozen kind or buy it already in pieces or else I would probably end up cutting off my whole hand. So I’m very impressed with your knife skills. And cooking skills…looks very yum.

  20. fitandfortysomething permalink
    April 8, 2010 7:14 am

    what a delicious dinner! oh i wish i could cook indian food….and i love the idea of just using cauliflower 🙂

  21. April 8, 2010 7:27 am

    You’re killing me! Here I was all proud I had bought cauliflower… and you go and not only get some, but create a beautiful meal! I’m gonna go sulk in the corner and eat my raw cauli with hummus… ha.

    Love the look of that recipe! Maybe if I actually buy it again, I’ll give it a go! 😉

    And I loved your post over at the Process of Healing… hilarious

  22. April 8, 2010 7:46 am

    I’m not even a fan of cauliflower but that sounds fantastic!! Maybe I’m just not a fan of the steamed cauliflower that gets all mushy… blech.

    And thank you for your guest post again!!! Like Amy, I think I may keep that handy for future questions of “why aren’t you dating anyone?” yep, that will come in handy.

  23. Caroline permalink
    April 8, 2010 8:10 am

    I loveee Indian style cauliflower. Def gonna try this one! .. and your guest post at process of healing was hilarious!

  24. April 8, 2010 8:28 am

    I just want you to know that what makes you so endearing is how honest you are. I love it! You don’t sugarcoat it and I find that I usually agree with you! haha! I loved your guest post too…I was CRACKING UP! 🙂

  25. April 8, 2010 9:03 am

    i made a quinoa and asparagus dish (with toasted pecans) last night. my hubs loved it…but your cauliflowr dish looks better!

    must experiment with indian food more!

    glad you are all prepped for a great Thrusday night!


  26. April 8, 2010 9:06 am

    The cauliflower looks awesome- I’m gonna try it tonight 🙂

  27. April 8, 2010 9:32 am

    I have to admit it has been a while since I have eaten cauliflower. Last experience with cauliflower was ages ago, I can recall my mom forcing me to eat it and me spitting it out!! Growing up it just wasn’t my favorite, I was all about spaghetti (that’s literally all I ate). You definitely make cauliflower look so yummy, I want some now!

  28. April 8, 2010 9:35 am

    Great recipe, Ameena!
    I´ve been in a cauliflower kick these days, too… So healthily delicious!
    Have a great day!
    Brazilian XOXO´s,

  29. April 8, 2010 10:25 am

    lol! i too have mixed feelings when my husband travels (and isn’t home for dinner).
    i love that i don’t have to cook, but it sucks when the cavalry doesn’t arrive and i’ve got to deal with both kids by myself for the night.

  30. April 8, 2010 11:11 am

    NICE job desembling the cauliflower…I love cauliflower but it is a bi*tch to cut sometimes! haha…I try to get it and cut it right when I buy it so its easy to use for the week!

    quinoa and peas! what a great combo and amazing color to the dish!

  31. whydeprive permalink
    April 8, 2010 11:41 am

    Oh that looks SO good! I love indian food. Living in my neighborhood is total torture, because other than the basement suite residents its a completely indian neighborhood. I can smell their dinners cooking when Im running or walking the dog, and its SO hard to keep from knocking on their doors and inviting myself in.

  32. highonhealthy permalink
    April 8, 2010 11:52 am

    Ooooh myyy gooooosh. That looks absolutely delicious and I want it for dinner.. now. I think that if I can get everything together then I’ll make it tonight. If it happens then this will be my first time ever eating Indian cuisine; it’s about time too because it looks amazingly tasty.

  33. April 8, 2010 12:58 pm

    A does the same thing… it drives me NUTS.

  34. April 8, 2010 1:30 pm

    I feel the same way when my hubby isn’t home for dinner…but mostly I’m glad for the night off cooking! 🙂 This looks delicious and I love the pretty yellow color the cauliflower takes from the turmeric.

  35. April 9, 2010 4:05 am

    Haha I have no idea who Jackie Collins is but if I feel overloaded or overstressed I will read a silly mag like 17 or watch a stupid movie 🙂 it usually works…or MTV haha like 16 and pregnant…what an awful show

  36. April 11, 2010 8:01 am

    Your cauliflower dish looks great! Thanks for the recipe! I’ve read that Indian food is really good for digestion, thanks to all the warming spices. I wish I knew more about it.

    Mad props to the 4-5 hours of entertaining Maya. I don’t know how you moms do it! Lots of love! 🙂

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