Tandoori Cauliflower & Homemade Naan Tacos with Curry Yogurt Sauce & Cilantro-Mint Chutney

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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OK – these guys are pretty delicious but I found them impossible to photograph in a way that made them look as good as they tasted.  Please forgive the loser imagery & trust that these taste FAR better than these photos might lead you to believe.

I attempted tandoori cauliflower once before & it was a total failure.  It was FAR too heavily spiced & undercooked & just the worst.  This recipe was a great success.  I even found myself eating the leftovers cold, right out of the container.  And avocado might seem an odd addition but I found it added a lovely & mellow creaminess – as did the curry sauce – so I recommend using both.

The naan I made was thicker than I would like but that was because my dough was too tacky (I should have kneaded more flour into it) & kept sticking to the rolling pin.  I used the recipe HERE in this youtube tutorial.

My other issue is that the pan got too hot & burned the naan a bit.  I think I needed to have used a non-stick pan.  That said, it was damned tasty & I used naan as hotdog buns for the next few days.  Still, store-bought naan (like they sell at Trader Joe’s) would be fine if the idea of making it is overwhelming.  And – if making the tandoori sauce sounds like a pain in the ass – use a store-bought brand of that, too!   Some of my photos show a little side of the cilantro-mint chutney and some jarred Trader Joe’s mango chutney.

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Homemade Naan

INGREDIENTS

2 cups flour

2 TBS melted butter

2 TBS yogurt

1 TBS minced garlic

1 tsp baking powder

Salt to taste

Water as needed (probably less than a cup)

Chopped cilantro – optional

DIRECTIONS (watch the video if the links are still good)

In a large bowl, blend the dry ingredients.  Add the butter, yogurt & cilantro & mix.  Then slowly add water until a dough forms.  Knead it fr several minutes, adding flour or water as needed until you have a soft dough that is no longer tacky.

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Wrap it in plastic wrap & let rest for 30 minutes or more.

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Break off golf ball-sized chunks & roll out (on a floured surface) to your desired size & thickness.

Heat a dry pan (a pan with a cover) until very hot.  Dampen a naan & drop damp side onto hot pan & dampen the other side.  Cover the pan & cook a minute or so or until it begins to bubble a bit.  Turn & cook the other side.

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There you have it!  But – watch her video for a clearer tutorial.

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Curry Yogurt Sauce

INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup yogurt

2 tsp curry powder

1 tsp salt

juice 1/2 lime

1 tsp rice wine vinegar

1 TBS mayonnaise

DIRECTIONS

Blend well.

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Cilantro-Mint Chutney

INGREDIENTS

1 1/2 cup cilantro

1 cup fresh mint

1 TBS minced ginger

2 scallions – chopped

2 garlic cloves

2 jalapenos (red is prettier but green will do) – seeded

1 TBS olive oil

1/2 tsp honey (or sugar)

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DIRECTIONS

Puree in a food processor.  You can adjust the flavors here – if you feel it needs more mint or cilantro or honey or salt – or even more jalapeno.  I added some water to thin it out.

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Tandoori Cauliflower

INGREDIENTS

Cauliflower – broken into small florets

1 cup yogurt

1 1/2 tsp ground cumin

1 1.2 tsp garam masala

1/2 tsp ground coriander

1/2 tsp turmeric

1/2 tsp chili powder

4 garlic cloves – minced

2 tsp ginger (fresh or jarred)

juice of 1/2 lemon

Red food coloring (optional) – just a drop or two

AS TACO GARNISH

Avocado – sliced (optional)

Red onion – sliced very thin

Cilantro – chopped

DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 400 degrees.

Blend all the ingredients except the cauliflower (and not the avocado or red onion or extra cilantro).  When well blended – add the cauliflower & allow to marinate for an hour.  The red food coloring is totally unnecessary but it does give that distinctive color.  It gets EVERYWHERE – so be careful.

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Roast the cauliflower for 20 minutes or until tender.  Little blackened edges are OK!

Now – simply assemble your tacos.  Naan topped with tandoori cauliflower & then red onion, avocado, some curry yogurt sauce & cilantro.  Serve with cilantro-mint chutney and/or mango chutney.

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Tandoori Cauliflower with Mint Chutney & Cucumber Raita

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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Ok – I am posting this as a sweeping gesture of honesty.  If you follow this blog, you know I am in the throes of a passionate affair with cauliflower.   I have used it to mock Buffalo Chicken and  mashed potatoes & risotto and many other ways.  Check some out HERE.

Tandoori was the next frontier of my cauliflower exploration.  I made the tandoori spice from scratch

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I marinated the cauliflower florets for about 6 hours.

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I used a lot of red food coloring to mock that brilliant tandoori crimson.  I roasted & then broiled the florets until they had blackened bits.

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I also made the mint chutney & cucumber raita from scratch.  The tandoori smelled SO GOOD roasting in my oven, it made me salivate.  Smelled good!  Looked GOOD!  When the cauliflower was done, I sat down with my little bowls of condiments & my tandoori cauliflower & eagerly popped a hot floret into my mouth.  It was then that the first wave of crushing disappointment hit me.  The floret tasted like someone had just poured a tablespoon of cumin into my mouth.  YUCK.  Secondly, the raw cauliflower hadn’t sufficiently tendered during the 25 minutes of roasting & subsequent broiling & was still too crunchy.  I am not sure how it all went so wrong.  Maybe I need to invest in a spice grinder.  Maybe my cardamom & coriander seeds were not properly pulverized by the mortal & pestle treatment I had given them.  The florets were definitely in more than enough moisture (yogurt) but they were still oddly dry & just WAY too heavily spiced.

I am not giving up on this idea, though.  Maybe I will buy a jarred tandoori paste & see what that turns out like.

My raita – on the other hand – turned out pretty good.  The mint chutney was OK, too, but not the best I’ve ever had.  The recipe still needs tweaking.  But – if you are curious – I will post the recipes for the condiments here now.

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Mint Chutney

1 cup mint

1 bunch cilantro

2 TBS yogurt

1 tsp ground cumin

4 serrano peppers (this makes a VERY hot chutney – so reduce this if you desire) – seeded

1 TBS ginger paste or 1 inch chunk fresh ginger

Juice of 1/2 lemon

Salt to taste

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DIRECTIONS

Puree in a food processor & salt to taste.

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Cucumber Raita

1 1/2 cup yogurt

1/2 cup water

1/2 – 1 cucumber – peeled & grated

1/2 sweet onion

1 jalapeno – seeded

2 serrano – seeded

salt to taste

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DIRECTIONS

Peel & grate the cucumber.  Reserve some of the rated cucumber to the side & then puree the rest with all the other ingredients.  Salt to taste.  Add the reserved grated cucumber.

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