Curried fried cauliflower

We rarely eat fried food, but for the rare occasion we do, this is our first choice.

It’s spicy, crunchy and delicious. It’s a terrific combination of Indian spices and Japanese tempura batter. The original recipe (which we’ve changed a bit) is from Jamie Oliver and his wonderful book, Jamie at Home.

Serves 6


• One Cauliflower

• Flour, for dusting

• Coconut oil for frying

• Small bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley, leaves picked

• Sea salt

• One Lemon

For the batter

• 1 tsp. cumin seeds

• 2 tsp. black mustard seeds

• 2–3 small dried red chilies

• 1 tsp. black peppercorns

• 1/2 teaspoon turmeric

• 2 cups unbleached flour

• 1 tsp. baking power

• 1 tsp. baking soda

• ½ tsp. salt

• 12 oz cold beer

First make the batter. Crush the cumin, mustard seeds, chilies and peppercorns in a mortar and pestle or grinder until they’re blended into a fragrant powder. Put the flour into a mixing bowl and stir in the ground spices and the turmeric.

Pour in most of the beer and whisk gently. Check the consistency – you want it to be the thickness of cream, if it’s too thick, whisk in the rest of the beer. Don’t worry too much about having little lumps in the batter, as they’ll just become nice crunchy bits when you start frying. Season with sea salt and put to one side.

Trim the bottom off the stalk and break the cauliflower into bite-sized florets. Wash the cauliflower, drain it and pat dry with kitchen paper Slice up the stalk and florets into small even pieces – this way it will all cook at the same rate.

Place the cauliflower pieces in a bowl. Add the finely chopped parsley and dust the mixture with a little flour. Pour the coconut oil into a deep saucepan – you want it to be about 3-4 inches deep – and heat it to 350°F.

Shake any excess flour off the cauliflower. One by one, dip the pieces into the beer batter, then carefully place them in the hot oil, moving them away from you as you do so. Make sure you stand back so you don’t get splashed. It’s best to fry them in batches so you don’t overcrowd the pan (but serve them as soon as each batch is ready).

Fry the pieces gently, turning them a couple of times with a slotted spoon. When they’re crispy and browned, lift them out of the oil, allowing any excess to drip back into the pan, and drain. I used a baking sheet with paper towel and put a cooling rack on top, it worked great.

Dust with sea salt and squeeze over a little lemon juice.  Enjoy!

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