by Elaine Young from Bond Street Eats - a Wandering Cooks incubator kitchen
"This recipe forms the basis of most of my Indian spiced dishes so you can tailor it to whatever vegetables you have, or are in season. I first learned a slightly more complex version of it in South India from a lady called Sandhya where we would sauté off the spices and curry leaves then let the vegetables simmer in the pan with their own juices or with just a splash of water until tender. Each vegetable was cooked separately, so we would make a Beetroot Palya, a Carrot Palya etc. so in the end there would be an array of different vegetables, spiced rice, freshly-made roti, coconut chutneys and all the yoga students would gather on the floor and soak it all up.
"Just like Sandhya’s kitchen, this salad would usually be served with a selection of other salads, a curry or dahl of some sort, maybe some rice and definitely something creamy like coconut yoghurt or lemon tahini to top it off. I hope you enjoy experimenting as much as I do and even come up with your own variations."
To make: Preheat oven to 180°C. If you have soaked millet, drain then add to a pot with 1½ cups water. Add 1 tsp turmeric, ground cumin and coriander with a good pinch of sea salt. Bring to a boil then let simmer for about 25 mins until all the water has absorbed. (If you didn’t soak, add 2 cups water and cook approx 30 mins).
Cut cauliflower into florets and place on baking tray with the leaves. Drizzle with oil, sprinkle with 1 tsp turmeric, salt and pepper. Roast for approximately 20-25 mins until crispy yet tender and the leaves are crunchy.
Remove the fronds from the fennel and set aside. Remove the stems then hold them all together and slice really thinly. Hold the bulb upright and slice lengthways down the middle then place the halves flat and slice into 2-3 cm pieces. Place the stems and bulb on another tray and again sprinkle with turmeric, salt and pepper. Roast for about 20mins until tender. (I find placing a baking tray of water in the bottom of the oven helps keep them tender but allows them to crisp up at the same time.)
Once millet is cooked, allow to sit for five minutes. Meanwhile prepare tempering by heating 1-2 tbsp oil in a pan on medium heat. Add mustard seeds and once they start to pop, turn down the heat, add the curry leaves and stir regularly for about a minute. Add cumin and coriander seeds and stir until starting to brown. Add chilli flakes if using then remove from the heat. Tip the spices and oil into the millet and stir through using a fork, fluffing it up at the same time. Once slightly cooled, tip into a large tray or bowl, squeeze in lemon juice, toss cooked cauliflower and fennel through then finally add the fennel fronds.
Elaine Young, Bond Street Eats – a Wandering Cooks incubator kitchen (Brisbane, Queensland, Australia)
"Bond Street Eats was born out of a passion for the simplicity and deliciousness of good quality, wholesome food that celebrates vegetables and plants. "I hope to not only make nourishing, plant-based food more accessible, but to create food that is so delicious that everyone is inspired to eat more plants," says Elaine.
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