Those dreams were crushed when I discovered we'd be cooking Mashed Turnips and Paneer. REALLY!?
Turns out I can't technically eat either of those things because of the high fat content in their preparation. Despite the disappointment, I went into it with an open mind and a determination to have fun and learn something.
After sampling the dishes, we went back to her place and recreated the Mashed Turnip recipe for the boys and lil' monkey. They loved it. I made a healthier version for myself which was surprisingly good. At the end of the day we were happy and content with the new knowledge we had gained.
Then a few days later it hit me. You know how a craving can come out of nowhere and really take over? Well for me it was the Mashed Turnip. I wanted them so badly that every other meal was like prison slop in comparison. Finally on day 3 of the craving I went on a hunt to find turnips. After several turnipless stores it occurred to me that I had a gallon sized bag of frozen cauliflower at home... I wonder if I could fool this craving into submission.
Turns out I could.
And I did.
And I also remade the recipe several other times because it was delicious.
Indian Mashed Cauliflower
3 cups cauliflower
1.5 tbs tumeric
1 tbs garlic
1 tbs olive oil
4 tbs fat free sour cream
salt and pepper to taste
1 dash of cayenne
Boil cauliflower with tumeric until soft and mushable. (Yes, I realize mushable isn't a word, but it's an accurate description and I'm keeping it.) Next, add oil to a small pan and saute garlic for 1-2 minutes. Lug out the food processor and dump in the mushable cauliflower, the garlic and olive oil combo, sour cream, and cayenne. Don't forget to add salt and pepper, go easy at first. You can't Edit-Undo or Control -Z on the spices.
Pulse and blend and pulverize until it resembles mashed potatoes. If your isn't processing well you can add a few tablespoons of milk. Sometimes I toss that mushed concoction back on the stove and re-warm it for a few minutes. Other times I eat it straight out of the food processor.
I really like to make it along side Chicken Tika Massala. I know you can make Chicken Tika Massala from scratch, but I've found delicious simmer sauces at both Trader Joes and Target that make my life much easier.
Now it's time to get nerdy:
Being from Meat and Potatoes Land (aka the Midwest) I had never had tumeric, nor had I eaten anything that had that fake tan hue. Here are a few things I've learned about this spice that deserves much more recognition:
- Curcumin, the active component of tumeric, may help the immune system eliminate protein that is suspected of accumulating to form damaging plaques in the brains of people who develop Alzheimer's disease. Only 1% of the elderly in India develop Alzheimer's - this is one-quarter the rate of Alzheimer's development in North America. This difference is thought to be due in part to regular consumption of curry in India.
- Daily intake of curcumin may decrease the risk of developing polyps in the colon, which in turn, decreases the risk of developing colorectal cancer.
- Regular consumption of tumeric may help to ease pain and inflammation that accompanies arthritis.
- Curcumin may be helpful in the treatment of some cases of cystic fibrosis.
- Curcumin can help to effectively treat skin cancer cells.
- Tumeric may help to prevent the spread of breast cancer cells.
The medicinal properties of tumeric are so significant that the National Institutes of Health is conducting trials to determine if curcumin should be a treatment recommendation for Alzheimer's disease, colorectal cancer, pancreatic cancer, and multiple myeloma.
So the moral of the story: find a way to incorporate tumeric into your diet. It's delicious and good for you. Oh yeah... the cauliflower is pretty good too.
PS: Tumeric stains.... it stains everything. Read here, here and here to learn more about removing these stains, or let me know if you have any tricks for making that orange hue go away.
Check out more tasty deliciousness at Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays.