Indian born American author and friend Monica Bhide asked me to test this recipe for her . Below is her recipe . I would up the spice level and increase almonds to bring out more flavors . This is a delicious take with an unusual twist. Slightly sour curd works good here.
If you don’t want to blanch the cauliflower whole, you can cut it into small florets and steam or pan-fry them before adding the sauce. This mild, almost sweet-tasting dish can be served as a side or as an entrée.
Makes 6 servings, 1/4 cup per person
3 cups salted water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 small head cauliflower (2 1/2-pounds), leaves and stems removed
For the spice mix
2 or 3 green cardamom pods
2 whole cloves
1-inch piece cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
For the sauce
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/2 cup diced white onions
2 tablespoons finely ground almonds
1/2 tablespoon grated peeled fresh ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon table salt
6 tablespoons plain whole milk yogurt
Place a collapsible steamer basket in a 3 1/2-quart saucepan. Add the salted water and lemon juice. Place cauliflower in the basket. Cover, bring to a boil, and steam 15 to 20 minutes, until the cauliflower is tender.Remove from heat, uncover, and cool to room temperature. Drain well and place cauliflower in an ovenproof dish.
While the cauliflower is cooling, prepare the spice mix and sauce: Combine cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, and bay leaf in a small dry skillet over medium heat. Roast until fragrant, about 2 minutes, stirring constantly to prevent the spices from burning. Transfer to a plate to cool. Place in a coffee mill or spice grinder and grind to powder.
Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add onions and sauté 10 minutes, until golden brown. If the onions begin to stick to the pan, add a few tablespoons of water.Stir in the almonds, ginger, garlic, cayenne, turmeric, salt, and spice mix, and cook for another 2 minutes. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.Scrape the mixture into a blender. (No need to wash the skillet.) Add 1/4 cup cold water and blend until smooth, adding more water if necessary.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Pour the puree back into the skillet and turn on medium-low heat. Stir in yogurt 1 tablespoon at a time until all the yogurt is incorporated.
Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes.Pour the sauce over the cauliflower. Bake for about 20 minutes, until the cauliflower is heated through and the sauce begins to brown on the top. Serve hot.