It’s a rainy and blustery weekend, and we have 1 Giant Leap blasting out on the CD, and I’m cooking an Indian style Cauliflower Cheese dish.
My mind has wandered back to Glastonbury, (the music festival) where we worked for a few years on a Trinidadian food stall, the sheer beauty and madness of it all; and on my first visit it was a wet Glastonbury, and I’d had to buy a pair of wellies, at great expense, to be able to get round the site. On the Friday night we finished our shift and went for a wander, we were meant to be meeting a mate at a gig, up in a field somewhere, well away from near the main stage where we worked. We were whacked out, we’d had a full on few days, building the stall, cooking the first dishes, decorating the stall with strings of fairy lights and Indian style paper and plastic garlands, dealing with customers – stoned or otherwise, organising our trades of food for alcohol or food with other stall holders, running repairs on the stall and the cooking equipment. Whacked, but we were having a blast.
We trudged through the mud, weary and sleepy, but determined to catch up with our friend; we find the gig, a small tent with maybe a hundred or so people, the band were just coming on stage, our friend was nowhere in sight. And on came 1 Giant Leap. They captivated me in the 1st moment, soaring vocals, and funky rhythms, fusing west, east and anywhere between, rapping, and harmonizing, with superb musicians from all corners of the globe. We forgot our tiredness and danced our socks (or rather wellies) off. I never forget the sight of one of the gorgeous singers who had a cute denim skirt on with some fabulous tights, and yes, a pair of green wellies, I was obviously in good company.
After the festival we tracked the CD down, and have played it ever since; “The Way You Dream” is a particular favourite, but then that would be ignoring tracks with vocals by Baba Maal and Maxi Jazz to name a few.
We stopped working at the Festivals a few years ago, and it is this time of year that my mind wanders and I miss the atmosphere, the music, the party, the people, the mayhem and the beauty; but not my sleep, my bed or damp clothes.
So I’m listening to 1 Giant Leap, the back door is open and I can hear the rain drumming the leaves in the garden, and I’m preparing tonight’s dinner. A bit of a treat, another dish not for the faint-hearted, those with high cholesterol or lactose intolerant (I am the latter!), but it’s a what the heck moment.
The dish is a cauliflower cheese dish, Indian style. I originally got the recipe idea from Madhur Jaffrey’s autobiography, I think she call’s it her Grandmother’s Cauliflower Cheese. It’s a real fusion of English style cauliflower cheese with Indian spices. I’ve made versions of this recipe over the years, and have added or omitted as I’ve gone along. It’s a hearty meal, and needs nothing else really, maybe a green or a tomato salad with some crusty bread. Serves 4
Indian Cauliflower Cheese
- Vegetable oil for shallow frying
- 1 to 2 tsp of cumin seeds
- 1 small onion finely sliced
- Cauliflower, chopped into small florets
- 1 or 2 green chillies finely choppped
- A 2 inch piece of ginger finely chopped
- 2 large tomatoes , grated
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- A large handful of fresh coriander, finely chopped
- Several tbls of cream (you need enough to coat the cauliflower, not to drown it)
- pinch of salt to taste
- 2 handfuls of grated Cheddar cheese
- 3 eggs, soft-boiled, peeled and cut in half
- Heat a tbls of vegetable oil in a large frying pan or wok
- When hot add the cumin seeds, and fry for a minute or two until they start changing colour and you start to smell them
- Add the onions, ginger, and chillies and fry for a minute
- Add the cauliflower and cook for a few minutes, the aim is to get a bit of colour to the cauliflower
- Add the turmeric and fry for a minute
- Add the tomatoes and cook the dish for a few minutes.
- Take off the heat and add the cream to the cauliflower, enough to coat it and not drown it
- Now add the coriander and mix it in
- Put the mixture into an oven-proof dish
- Place the eggs on top of the mixture and sprinkle the cheese on top
- Cook on a high oven for approx 20 to 30 minutes