Indian American chef Amod Singh’s cauliflower roast dish, available at Spice of America, is a must-try dish if you are in San Francisco, Calif. India-West is not playing favorites here. This is according to 7X7 Big Eats. This gluten-free, dairy-free and healthy dish finds a spot on 7X7 Big Eats’ ‘100 Best Dishes in San Francisco’ 2019 list.
“The idea of creating this dish was purely something that can meet the expectation of a health-conscious guest, with the option for non-dairy, no gluten and no nuts diners,” Singh told India-West. “Certainly, it was a great dish according to me when we assembled everything together for the first time, but it got really recognized when it got featured on the Top Best 100 Dishes in San Francisco on 7X7 Big Eats.”
Singh said guests love the dish for several reasons. Listing the benefits of the vegetable, Singh said, it helps with satiety, weight loss, a healthy digestive tract, is a low calorie dish and contains many antioxidants and nutrients. He also added that prolonged cooking of cauliflower takes away the nutritional value and also leaves a sulphur-like smell.
“I tried developing this recipe assuring that the plate should contain enough healthy ingredients with the traditional Indian flavors and influencing the Californian produce,” he said.
Singh has worked as a chef in the hotel and restaurant industry for the last 15-16 years, and has been associated with Campton Place San Francisco in different roles and responsibilities for the past seven years. He added: “It’s a very simple and ordinary plate but prepared with a little kink, for being a Californian origin. It’s flavorful and tasty, where the cauliflower plays the most significant role on the plate. The flavors of cauliflower are not overwhelmed with the spices, but they subtly compliment and enhance the taste of cauliflower.”
Other Indian dishes and their restaurants featured on the list include gol guppa at August (1) Five, blue cheese naan at Besharam, and Churmur at Indian Paradox.
August (1) Five, owned by Indian American Hetal Shah, is a modern Indian restaurant named for the date commemorating India’s independence from British rule. It describes its food as being influenced by a range of culinary traditions, “from colorful street foods to the hidden staples of home cooks,” adding that its menu is “anchored in the regional cuisines of India.”
Besharam is Indian American chef Heena Patel’s first restaurant. Roughly translated to mean “shameless,” Besharam, it explains on its website, features “Heena’s bold interpretations of the flavors and dishes that were prevalent throughout her childhood in India, refined and reimagined for California.”
Indian Paradox, owned by Indian American Kavitha Raghavan, is a wine bar/restaurant, which pairs old and new world wines with Indian street food from all over the sub-continent.
Without further ado, here’s the recipe of Singh’s cauliflower roast, being published here with his permission. This recipe would yield a portion size for 10-12 people, he said.
2 Whole Cauliflower
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Sugar
1Tbsp Lemon Juice
½ tsp Chili powder
½ tsp Turmeric Powder
½ tsp Roasted Coriander Powder
¼ tsp Nutmeg Powder
2 Cups Rice Flour
1Tbsp Ginger-garlic Paste
1Tbsp Chopped Cilantro
1Cup Cooking Oil
1 tsp Roasted Cumin Powder
Cut the cauliflower into small florets. Marinate the cauliflower with turmeric, chili powder, coriander powder, nutmeg, salt, sugar, lemon juice along with the paste of ginger, garlic, chopped green chilies and chopped cilantro. Let the marinated cauliflower rest for 10-15 minutes. Dust each cauliflower florets in the rice flour and let it sit again for few minutes. Heat the oil in a flat heavy-bottom pan and slow roast the cauliflower over the stove until it gets a golden-brown color. Once the cauliflower is done sprinkle some roasted cumin powder. Serve hot along with the khichdi and masala mint curd.
Singh also shared the recipe of his khichdi.
Panchratan Dal Kichidi:
1 Cup Black dal
1 Cup Green Moong Dal
1 Cup Red Kidney Beans
1 Cup Chickpea
1 Cup White peas
2 Cup Basmati Rice
4 Cups of Chopped Yellow Onions
2 Cups of Chopped Tomatoes
1 Tbsp Ginger Garlic Paste
1 tsp of Chopped Green Chilies
1 tsp Turmeric
1 tsp Garam Masala Powder
1 tsp Chili Powder
¼ tsp Asafoetida
1 tsp Cumin Seeds
Salt Sugar and Lemon juice to Taste
1 Cup Cooking Oil
½ Cup of Ghee
Soak all the lentils separately overnight and leave it in a slightly warmer place. Wash and soak the rice for half an hour and set aside. Boil all the lentils separately until 70-80 percent cooked. Par boil and cook the rice with one part of rice and three parts of water with little salt and oil. Later, mix all the lentils with rice and cook together. Heat up a flat bottom deep pan, add the oil, when hot temper the oil with cumin seeds. Add chopped white onion and cook until slightly golden brown. Add finely minced ginger and garlic with green chilies. Add the powdered spices, turmeric, garam masala powder, chili powder and asafoetida and cook well over a slow flame. Add dices of tomatoes and chopped coriander. Add the onion tomato spice mix with the rice and lentil and mix well. Add salt, sugar and lemon juice and check for seasoning. Close the lid of the pan and let it sit for 15-20 minutes like ‘dum.’ Later mix the khichdi gently and add ghee and stir to emulsify. Serve hot as and when needed.