Cauliflower surprise





1 cauliflower

 4 tbsps cooking oil

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 large onion, finely chopped

2.5 cm/1 inch piece of fresh root ginger, peeled and grated

3-4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed

460g/1 lb lean minced beef or lamb

1 tsp ground turmeric

1 tbsp ground coriander

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground cardamom seeds

½ tsp chilli powder

200g/7oz can tomatoes, drained

1 tsp salt

¼ tsp black mustard seeds

½ tsp cumin seeds

8-10 curry leaves


To Garnish


2 small tomatoes, quartered

1 tbsp freshly chopped coriander leaves


Blanch the whole cauliflower in boiling salted water, then drain and cool.   Heat 3 tbsps of oil over a medium heat and add the cumin seeds.  As soon as the seeds start popping, add the onion and fry for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently.  Ad d the ginger and garlic, stir and fry for 1 minute. 


Add the mince, increase the heat slightly, stir and fry the mice until it is crumbly and all the liquid has evaporated.    Reduce the heat to low and add the turmeric, coriander, cinnamon, cardamom and chilli powder.  Stir and fry until the spices are well-blended in 3-4 minutes.  Add the tomatoes and salt, stir and cook for 1-2 minutes.  Cover the pan and simmer for a further 10-15  minutes, then remove the pan from the heat and allow the mince to cool.


Place the cauliflower on  a board, stem side up.  Fill all the cavity between the stems with the cooked mince; this should be as tightly packed as possible.  Turn the cauliflower over, gently pull the florets apart and fill with as much mince as possible.  Heat the remaining oil over a medium heat and add the mustard seeds.  As soon as the seeds pop, add the cumin and the curry leaves.  Place the cauliflower in the seasoned oil, the right way up, and let it cook, uncovered, for 2-3 minutes.  Turn it over and cook the other side for 2-3 minutes.  Turn the cauliflower over a gain and arrange any remaining mince around it.  Cover the pan and lower the heat to the minimum setting.  Cook for 10-15 minutes or until the cauliflower is tender. 


Place the cauliflower on a warmed serving dish and arrange any surplus mince around it.  Garnish with the tomatoes and coriander leaves.