Copper Chimney inspired Chaat Masala style baked cauliflower


Copper Chimney inspired Chaat Masala style baked cauliflower

I will go straight into this recipe without discussing the chickpea and hummus patties I did today or the reading on the scales this morning. I sort of knew I shouldn't have eaten all the Vietnamese spring rolls I made yesterday. But they were so good.

But onwards and upwards. The spice mix in my cauliflower recipe is not really chaat masala, probably more a garam masala, as the original chaat masala includes amchoor and asafoetida. Since I don't have them and have no idea what they are I just took what I had from the ingredients list and added some cinnamon, cardamom and garam masala to boot. But you can buy ready made chaat masala spice mix. Or indeed the mysterious amchoor and asafoetida and make your own. Apparently asafoetida is hing - if that helps. Still means nothing to me.

Indian restaurant Copper Chimney opened in the Shepherd's Bush Westfields recently. It is a well known restaurant brand in India, first established in Bombay in the 1970s and serving North Indian food. We've visited this branch now a couple of times with a friend and the food has been amazing both times. To be fair we ate the same things both times. I suspect we will continue to have exactly the same things for the forseeable future, if it ain't broke why fix it. But I'm sure the other items on the menu are delicious too.

The first time I had the cauliflower it was partly because I thought it would be healthy and low calorie but mostly out of curiosity, because cauliflower is usually just a bit diappointing. The main problem with cauliflower is that it smells like poo and tastes like nothing. Unless you add a pint of cream and a pound of cheese, it will be a disappointment pretty much however you cook it. But this wasn't.

My version obviously is not as good as the Copper Chimney one. I don't have a tandoori oven and I haven't been trained by Mr Kapur. But if you want a tasty, easy, healthy and crunchy cauliflower side dish and you want your kitchen to smell like Christmas, this is definitely the way to go.

Once I get my BBQ pants on again I will definitely try this on the coal barbecue and I bet it will be really nice. This time I had it as a light dinner with some of my healthy hummus and a rocket salad.

Copper Chimney inspired Chaat Masala style baked cauliflower

Oven baked cauliflower with a Chaat Masala style spice mix

1 cauliflower, cut into florets
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp garam masala spice mix just in case
A splash of olive oil

To serve: Freshly squeezed lemon juice and a sprinkling of crushed red pepper flakes if you like it hot.

Remove the stalk and cut the cauliflower into florets. Add all the spices and the oil and mix well. Leave to marinade for however long you can. I only had 30 minutes, but you could leave the it in the fridge overnight.

Heat the oven to 200 C. Spread the florets on a baking sheet and bake for 20-30 minutes depending on how small you cut them turning the florets a few time during baking. Don't overcook, they are nice when they still have a bit of a bite in them. Sprinkle a few crushed red pepper flakes on top and finish with a good squeeze of fresh lemon juice.

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