Friday, October 5, 2012

Dum Phukt-Style Potatoes with Cauliflower

My husband doesn't like cauliflower. He always eats it when I cook with it or put it on our salad, but he doesn't like cauliflower. So, during spring break while he was away camping (and I was still here working on my dissertation prospectus), I made this Dum Phukt-Style Potatoes with Cauliflower from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker cookbook for myself.

Now, the directions say to "peel and cut potatoes in half lengthwise, then cut each half into 4 wedges," like in this picture, but I found this to be a little too long so after the first batch I ended up cutting each wedge in half. Since I was planning to serve it over rice, I wanted smaller pieces.

So, you brown the potatoes a bit in a skillet with olive oil then add them to the crock pot. Then you do the same with the cauliflower.

After that, you add the onions and let them cook, adding minced ginger root, minced garlic, salt (which I didn't use), pepper, a cinnamon stick, some whole cloves, and a couple bay leaves once the onions are soft. Then you also add half a cup of water.

You put everything in the crock pot and stir carefully to combine everything. Although the Vegetarian Slow Cooker cookbook normally tells you that you can do some of the steps ahead of time and refrigerate whatever you've made until you're ready to cook, this one does not have that suggestion.  I guess they don't recommend making anything ahead of time, though obviously you could cut everything the night before so you just have to do the cooking in the morning.

Interestingly, this recipe cooks with a large piece of parchment paper over the mixture to catch the moisture (see image below too). It cooks like this on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours, basically until the potatoes are cooked through.

This is what the parchment paper looks like after cooking.

Now, while the potatoes, cauliflower, and onions are cooking in the crock pot, you make the yogurt sauce, combining yogurt (this recipe said full-fat, but I used non-fat anyway), curry powder, and "long red chile peppers, seeded and diced." I had trouble finding red chile peppers in my grocery store, but a quick google search (thank God for smart phones) told me that I can substitute jalapenos or serrano peppers for the red chiles. I went for the serrano peppers which made the meal really spicy (yum)!

This is what the combined yogurt sauce looks like.

Once the potato-cauliflower-onion mix is done cooking, you carefully remove the parchment paper so the water doesn't get into the mix. You take out the whole spices (cinnamon, cloves, and bay leaves -- though I couldn't find all the cloves so I just left them in there and discovered them as I ate it), then you add the yogurt mix and stir everything together carefully and cook it all on high for 10 more minutes.

This is what it looks like when everything is done.

Now as I mentioned above, I served this over rice and it was AMAZING.  I really liked it and when my husband got back I fed it to him without pointing out the cauliflower and he even liked it! Now the recipe says that it makes 4 to 6 servings and I remember this not lasting as long as I had thought it would, but I don't remember exactly how many servings I got out of it. So, calorie-wise (without the rice) it'd be about 262 calories per serving for 4 servings and 174 calories for 6 servings (with the rice, that'd be about 411 and 324 -- a totally reasonable meal for someone like me if you add a salad). In terms of cost, it's a little bit pricey per serving. It's still under $10 per serving, but if you have to buy everything it would be $8.83 per serving for 4 servings and $5.89 per serving for 6 servings not counting the rice. Of course rice isn't all that pricey so it would only be $9.17 and $6.12, respectively. Of course, I picked this recipe because we had received a cauliflower in our produce delivery and I already had most of the other items (I had run out of onions and potatoes though, and didn't already have a couple of the spices), so for me it was $3.45 per serving for 4 servings and $2.30 per serving for 6 servings. Even though I don't remember how many servings I got, either one of those is totally reasonable for several dinners and/or lunches without using up too much student loan money.