Cauliflower is another one of those vegetables, like cabbage, that gets a bad press. Considered bland, it invariably gets treated in the kitchen as an uninteresting after-thought. However, the earthy flavour and texture of cauliflower, can cope with an influx of spice and care. This special combination (a recipe with its origins in Pakistan, given to me by a dear friend) is one you need to add to your repertoire.
Let's take a look at cauliflower:
Vata types need to go easy with cauliflower as it can create gas and bloating. Raw cauliflower in particular is not recommended for Vata body-types. It is more forgiving on the Vata digestive system when cauliflower is cooked. Cauliflower is an excellent vegetable choice for Kapha Pitta types. Here are some of its benefits:
One of the lesser known health benefits of cauliflower is hormonal balance. This cruciferous veggie packs a whole bunch of antioxidants that promote healthier hormone levels by reducing excess estrogen. This can prevent problems like breast cancer and hypothyroidism. In fact, leafy greens in general are thought to help maintain better hormonal balance.
Contrary to popular belief, cauliflower aids digestion. Digestion is given high importance in Ayurveda, since it helps ensure higher strength, emotional balance, and a disease-free body. One of the top benefits of cauliflower is improved digestion. This is possible, thanks to this vegetable’s high content of fibre as well as digestion-boosting compounds. Cauliflower protects the digestive tract from damage, promotes better balance of bacteria, and supports healthy movement of bowels through the digestive system. So, enjoy cauliflower regularly for optimum digestion as well as protection from digestive disorders.
A wide range of Nutrients
The cauliflower nutritional facts are pretty remarkable. This veggie boasts quite a range: vitamins C, B6, K, folate, fibre, thiamin, magnesium phosphorous…the list goes on!Cauliflower is particularly high in vitamin C. A cup of cooked cauliflower contains around 80% of the daily recommended intake. It’s also rather high in bone protecting vitamin K. With its nutritive value, cauliflower is a great food to give you an all round health boost.
Helps with weight Loss
Next on the list of cauliflower benefits is weight loss. Being so high in nutrients, this veggie has very few calories and almost no fat! It’s also pretty low on the glycemic index. So if you’re trying to lose weight, eat cauliflower to make sure that you get the nutrients you need to stay energetic while at the same time avoiding excess calories. And spice it up with the Ayurvedic spices as listed in this curry.
Ayurvedic experts advise eating plenty of anti-inflammatory foods, since this helps keep many diseases at bay. Cauliflower fights inflammation excellently, since it has the antioxidants required by your body to keep inflammation levels in check. This vegetable also fights oxidative stress by free radicals. In these ways, it also helps ensure that your immunity stays strong. Enjoy this warm cauliflower curry spiced with turmeric & black pepper to avoid falling sick during the winter.
Recipe (for 4/6)
1 medium cauliflower cut into small florets
1 onion, cut lengthways into fine slices
3/4 garlic cloves crushed
1 small green chilli, chopped
1/2 tsp black cardamom seeds
1/4 tsp turmeric
3cm cinnamon stick crumbled into pieces
2/3 tomatoes, chopped
1 cup of plain yoghurt of your choice (plant or dairy), beaten until smooth
sea salt, to taste
1 1/2 tsp vegetable oil & ghee
1 tsp cinnamon powder
1 tsp dried chilli flakes
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp curry powder
fresh coriander (optional)
Heat the oil/ghee in a pan and add the sliced onion. Saute well until the onion changes colour.
Add the garlic, cardamom seeds and cinnamon and mix well.
Add the chopped tomatoes, salt, turmeric, chilli flakes and simmer, allowing the tomato to soften and combine with the spices.
Combine the cauliflower florets with the tomato masala and mix well. Add a little water (not too much), just so the spices don't stick and burn. Add ground black pepper, cinnamon powder, green chillies and curry powder to the mix and simmer until the cauliflower softens.
Beat the plain yoghurt well and pour over the cauliflower turning down the heat. Simmer for about 2 minutes and then remove from the heat and cover with a lid.
Adjust the seasoning if needed & garnish with fresh coriander.
I like to eat this dish with roti; a very satisfying way of soaking up the sauce with fluffy flatbread!