This creamy curry was created by combining several similar recipes from various cookbooks and the Internet. You can make this vegan by swapping oil for the ghee and skipping the yogurt. This makes about 4 or 5 servings.
- 1 cup split urad dal without skins
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 1-inch piece of tamarind
- 2 tbsp ghee
- 2 tsp cumin seeds
- 5 medium green chiles, chopped
- 3 dried red extra hot chile pods, seeds removed and chopped/crumbled
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and minced
- 1 tsp amchoor powder
- 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
- 1/3 cup dried coconut flakes
- 3/4 tsp salt
- handful of curry leaves
- 1 medium-large head cauliflower
- cilantro for topping, chopped
- yogurt for topping
- naan for serving
Preheat the oven to 375.
Soak the tamarind pulp in 1 cup of very hot water for at least 15 minutes (longer doesn’t hurt). Strain into a bowl through a fine-meshed sieve, squeezing to get as much liquid out of the pulp as possible. Discard the pulp and set the liquid aside.
Soak the coconut flakes in hot water for 15 minutes. Drain and discard the liquid. Set aside the flakes.
Wash the urad dal thoroughly. Put it in a large pot, together with the tamarind liquid, turmeric, and 3 cups additional water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer for about 25 minutes until the urad dal starts to soften.
While the urad dal cooks, wash the cauliflower and remove as many of the leaves as possible. Trim the stem, but leave the core intact. Stand the cauliflower on its stem and slice into several “steaks.” Some florets will fall off, but just set those aside. Lightly oil a baking sheet and arrange the steaks on it. Add the loose florets. Brush the tops of the cauliflower steaks with oil, season with salt and pepper, then put them in the oven. When they start to turn brown (about 15 minutes), flip the steaks and bake for another 10-15 minutes on the other side. Remove from the oven and set aside.
Meanwhile, heat the ghee in a frying pan over medium heat. When hot, add the cumin seeds and fry for a minute or so, stirring constantly. Add the red and green chiles, garlic, ginger, amchoor powder, and cayenne. Stir fry for a few minutes until fragrant.
Add the tomatoes, coconut, salt, and curry leaves to the frying pan. Simmer for about 5 minutes until the mixture is thickened, stirring regularly. Add to the urad dal, stir, and simmer uncovered for about 15 minutes or until it reaches whatever thickness you desire.
To serve, put a cauliflower steak or some florets on a plate. Pour curry over the top, then top with a couple spoonfuls of yogurt and maybe a little chopped cilantro. Serve with naan.